Singareni team visits VSP to examine possibility of bidding
A team of officials from Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) of Telangana on Tuesday visited the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) in Andhra Pradesh to examine the possibility of submitting Expression of Interest (EoI) for its acquisition.
On the direction of the Telangana government, a team of SCCL officials visited the plant. As the VSP Chairman and Managing Director was away in Delhi, it called on senior officials of the marketing department.
Earlier, Telangana’s Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao told media persons in Hyderabad that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has sent a team to the VSP to examine the possibility of bidding for Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, commonly referred to as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
The Telangana government enjoys a majority stake of 51 per cent in the SCCL while the Centre holds the remaining 49 per cent.
KCR, as the Telangana Chief Minister is popularly known, has asked SCCL officials to visit the VSP and prepare a blueprint. The last date for submitting bids for VSP is on April 15.
Meanwhile, an organization of VSP employees fighting against its privatisation has welcomed the report that Singareni directors have been invited to participate in EOI. The Ukku Parirakshana Porata Samithi alleged that the Centre is planning to sell VSP to shell companies and if a public sector undertaking comes forward to acquire it, it will be in safe hands.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh’s Industry Minister Gudivada Amarnath on Tuesday said that there is contradiction in the stand taken by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government of Telangana on the VSP. “On the one hand, it says it is opposed to privatisation of PSUs while on the other it is trying to acquire VSP,” he said and demanded it to clarify its stand on privatisation.
“BRS should clarify if it is for privatisation of PSUs or against it. If it is against privatization, how can it bid for VSP,” he said.
Amarnath stated that the Centre had issued a memorandum one and a half years ago and as per the memorandum, Central or state governments can’t participate in bidding.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government has come under attack from opposition parties for its silence over the issue.
Amarnath, however, said their stand was clear. “We are against privatisation. Our slogan is Visakha steel is right of Andhras,” he said.
The minister said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that his government is opposed to privatisation of the VSP.