As many as 29 companies, including seven international players, have submitted bids for supply of raw materials and providing working capital to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant
Former additional DGP VV Lakshmi Narayana today formally wrote to the Chairman and Managing Director of RINL proposing to raise Rs 850 crore every month for four months through public donations to run the plant, which is being put up for 100 per cent disinvestment by the central government. Ever since the Centre’s plan for complete disinvestment became public knowledge the workers have been protesting against the move.
In his letter, Lakshmi Narayana wrote: “We would like to place on record that we wish to request people to donate funds required for the working capital of RINL in the form of public donations credited directly to the RINL bank account. Recently, people have contributed in large numbers in the form of donations for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. We would like to know whether RINL accepts such public donations.”
He also wanted to know if the RINL management was open to exploring the possibility of raising working capital through public donations. VV Lakshmi Narayana, a retired IPS officer was the joint director of CBI who handled the cases of quid pro quo of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He had opted for VRS to contest for the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat on a Jan Sena ticket in the 2019 elections and came third after the YSRCP and TDP respectively. After his defeat he had parted ways with Jana Sena and politics but is said to be keen to contest again as an independent in 2024.
With both the key political parties in the state – TDP and YSRCP – keen to keep the central leadership of BJP in good humour for political reasons there has not been much of efforts from them to save the Vizag Steel Plant which was built on nearly 20,000 acres of land given up by the people of 64 villages. The only shore based steel plant was built after a long struggle, led by mostly students and claimed 32 lives when police opened fire on protestors. The people of the state have an emotional connection with the steel plant.
Although the minister of state for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste had stated that the Centre had put off disinvestment of RINL a statement from the Steel Ministry later clarified that there has been no roll back on its decision to go for 100 per cent disinvestment of the steel plant that turned into a loss making unit due to lack of captive mines.