Andhra Pradesh

VUPPC launches signature campaign against sale of steel plant

A view of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. File photo

A view of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. File photo

The Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee (VUPPC) launched a signature campaign to garner support for the ongoing agitations against the 100% strategic sale of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, here on Saturday.

Speaking to The HIndu , one of the chairmen of VUPPC and CITU State president Ch. Narasinga Rao said that one crore signatures will be collected from people from various walks of life in support for the agitation and against the Union Government’s decision.

The employees, various trade unions and leaders of various political parties have come under the umbrella of VUPPC and the committee has been spearheading the campaign over the last 340 days.

“We will take the signature campaign to all districts across the States and will approach people at shops, milk booths, colleges, parks and every sphere of day-to-day activities to garner support,” said Mr. Narasinga Rao.

As part of the campaign, on Saturday the council members of GVMC, from across parties and floor leaders joined the campaign by signing on the document. The campaign was led by Mayor Golagani Hari Venkata Kumari and two Deputy Mayors J. Sridhar and K. Satheesh.

Speaking to The Hindu , GVMC corporator and leader of CPI (M) Gangarao said, “When it comes to VSP, we are all united in the council and we shall take it forward to Parliament, till the Union Government revokes its decision on privatisation.”

He said that the VSP was not like any other PSU steel plant. Around 32 people had died in police firing and plant has developed on its own with very little coming from the Central Governments.

So far over the last five decades, the various Union Governments, had only given around ₹4,980 crore, but at the same time VSP has given back to the government to the tune of ₹45,000 crore in the form of taxes and dividends, he said.

The asset value of the plant is over ₹3 lakh crore and in the last nine months, it has achieved a turnover of about ₹19,000 crore and has earned a profit of around ₹1,080 crore. In such a scenario how can the Union Government hand over the plant to a private player on a platter, Mr. Gangarao questioned.

“We will not budge till the Union Government goes back on its decision and also allots iron ore captive mines to the plant,” he said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 8:27:05 am |