Vizag steel plant will not be shut down, do not panic, assures Union Steel Minister Kumaraswamy

Its production will reach 100%, and we believe that RINL is one of the PSUs that helps in improving the country’s GDP, he says, and promises to explore the possibility RINL-SAIL merger

Published - July 11, 2024 08:53 pm IST - Visakhapatnam

Union Minister of Steel & Heavy Industries H.D. Kumaraswamy during his maiden visit to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plan on Thursday.

Union Minister of Steel & Heavy Industries H.D. Kumaraswamy during his maiden visit to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plan on Thursday.

Do not panic, we will not shut down the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), assures Union Steel & Heavy Industries Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

“The family of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate arm of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), should not panic about its closure,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said during his visit to the plant here for the first time on July 11 (Thursday). He was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Steel Bhupathiraju Srinivasa Varma.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who represents Mandya in the Lok Sabha, is president of Karnataka State Janata Dal (Secular), which is a part of the NDA coalition government at the Centre.

Addressing the trade union representatives on the plant premises, Mr. Kumaraswamy extended all support to the steel plant, and said, “With the blessings and support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RINL will not be shut down and, instead, its production will reach 100%. We strongly believe that RINL is one of the PSUs that helps in improving the country’s GDP.”

Earlier, Mr. Kumaraswamy visited the key production units of the plant. He first visited the model room in the ED (Works) building, wherein he was explained about the process and salient features of the plant by CMD Atul Bhatt. Later, he visited the award gallery, where he congratulated the team for bagging national and international awards.

Later, Mr. Kumaraswamy visited the Coke Ovens Section, Blast Furnace-3, Steel Melting Shop-2, and Wire Rod Mill-2 units of the plant.

Later, at a review meeting, Mr. Kumaraswamy was briefed about the past and present performance of the plant, its assets, decisions taken so far after announcing the privatisation proposal, among others.

Mr. Varma said, “Mr. Kumaraswamy has shown interest in RINL ever since he took charge as Union Minister of Steel. His visit to Visakhapatnam soon after assuming charge shows his concern for RINL.”

Before leaving the plant, Mr. Kumaraswamy interacted with the leaders of various trade unions under the umbrella of the Visakha Ukku Parirakshana Porata Committee.

“We requested Mr. Kumaraswamy to revoke the decision on strategic sale of RINL, and, instead, merge RINL with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL),” said Varasala Srinivasa Rao of the Steel Plant Employees’ Association (JMS), who participated in the meeting.

Speaking to The Hindu, Steel Executives’ Association president Katam SS Chandra Rao said, “We have clearly explained the importance of SAIL & RINL merger, promotions and pay issues. Due to lack of iron ore and interest burden due to expansion, the plant started facing severe difficulties. The Union Steel Minister has responded very positively, and sought some time to straighten things. He has assured us that he will look into the possibility of RINL & SAIL re-merger.”

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