Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: ‘Centre, VSP Board bent on pushing the steel plant into losses’

CPI(M) leader B.V. Raghavulu addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

CPI(M) leader B.V. Raghavulu addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Friday. | Photo Credit: V. RAJU

The Union Government and the Board of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), are making a conscious attempt to push the steel plant into losses and pave the way for the proposed hundred percent strategic sale of the VSP, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member B.V. Raghavulu has alleged.

Addressing the media here on Friday, Mr. Raghavulu said the steel plant had made a profit of over ₹900 crore in the previous financial year despite the management operating only five out of six coke ovens at 50% productivity and two out of three blast furnaces at 40% productivity.

If all the coke ovens and blast furnaces were run at full capacity, the profits would have been much higher, he said. “Thanks to the resolve of the employees and workers, who have been agitating for the last 547 days, the plant has made profits,” he added.

Mr. Raghavulu alleged that both the Union Government and the Board were creating a situation where the plant would rapidly go into losses.

Coal import

The government had also stopped importing coal citing that the international prices were high two years ago. “But now, the prices are cheaper. Why is the government not allowing the plant to import coal. It is not even allotting captive mines to the VSP,” Mr. Raghavulu said.

Highly critical of the TDP and the YSRCP on their stand on VSP, he said these parties were only paying a lip service. Both the parties had not adopted a resolution on the VSP in their annual conferences, he said.

Freebies

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reported statement that the States were going out of the way in doling out freebies, which was triggering an economic crisis, the CPI(M) leader said, “If that be the case, Mr. Modi should have raised the issue in Parliament and given a solution to the States.”

Alleging that the BJP-led government at the Centre was trying to create an impression that the regional parties were trying to grab votes in the name of freebies and putting real development on the back burner, he said, “The regional parties are now the biggest threat to the BJP.”

Stating that the national parties were slowly losing their grip, Mr. Raghavulu said, “Today, the Congress is a disoriented party and is ideologically confused. It does not have a clear stand on federalism or secularism. It is changing its stand based on the situation. It is against freebies in Kerala, but bats for them in Rajasthan. They want ED officials to come to Kerala, but do not want Sonia Gandhi to be questioned.”

Obscene video case

Referring to the obscene video allegedly involving YSRCP MP Gorantla Madhav, the CPI(M) leader alleged that the State government was trying to shield the MP.

“Whether the video is morphed or original can be ascertained after investigation. But being an MP, it is a matter that should be deplored. The State government cannot brush it aside by terming it as a private affair. The Superintendent of Police cannot pass a judgment,” Mr. Raghavulu said.


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Printable version | Sep 3, 2022 1:54:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-centre-vsp-board-bent-on-pushing-the-steel-plant-into-losses/article65761397.ece