VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee on Friday said the Union government has expedited the process of VSP privatisation.
The committee demanded that details of a meeting held on Thursday by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) with 45 officials, including RINL CMD and steel secretary, be made public.
The committee, which has been spearheading the agitation against the strategic sale of RINL (the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant) for the last 133 days, said the DIPAM meeting was in continuation of the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for privatisation of RINL in January.
Speaking to media persons here on Friday, Visakha Ukku panel convener J Ayodhya Ram and chairman Mantri Rajasekhar said transaction and legal advisors have been reportedly appointed to speed up the privatisation. “People are supporting the agitation as they feel that the steel plant is their asset. Barring BJP, all political parties participated in the agitation programmes organised by the committee.”
They said relay hunger strikes against the privatisation were being organised for the last 134 days at Kurmannapalem Junction and for the last 80 days at Gandhi Statue near GVMC office. “Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to the Centre twice; the state Assembly and GVMC council have adopted resolutions opposing the proposal,” they noted.
The panel members said the steel plant came to the rescue of people when they faced shortage of oxygen during the ongoing pandemic. As many as 150 steel plant workers died due to the virus. “Without taking into consideration the sustained agitation against the steel plant privatisation, the Centre is going ahead with its plans. Non-allotment of captive mines to the plant is part of the plan to weaken the steel plant financially,” they alleged.
They urged the workers to make the proposed June 29 one-day strike a success so as to send a strong message to the Centre.