Tuesday, October 4, 2022

‘Legitimate concerns’ of employees will be ‘suitably addressed’: Pradhan on RINL privatisation

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New Delhi: Cabinet Minister for Oil & Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the 'legitimate concerns' of RINL employees will be 'suitably addressed' during the privatisation process of the PSU. Pradhan was responding to an unstarred question pertaining to the details of the steps taken/ proposed to be taken to ensure their job protection/ security given to workers after the privatisation of RINL in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

"The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA), in its meeting held on January 27, 2021, has accorded ín-principle’ approval for 100% disinvestment of Government of India (GOI) shareholding in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) (also called Visakhapatnam Steel Plant or Vizag Steel) along with RINL’s stake in its Subsidiaries/Joint Ventures through strategic disinvestment by way of privatisation," said Pradhan. In the written reply he showed how the total net worth of RINL has eroded from Rs 9873.20 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 3271.79 crore in 2019-20. Also, the loss kept rising from Rs 1420.64 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 3910.17 crore in 2019-20.

"While deciding the terms and conditions of the strategic sale, legitimate concerns of the existing employees and other stakeholders are suitably addressed through appropriate provisions made in the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA)" Pradhan told the parliament. He also added that the state is consulted in specific matters as and when needed and their support is also solicited in the matters that require their intervention.

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However, the employees of RINL have been arguing that the basic reason for the underperformance of the plant over the past years is the lack of raw material. Unlike Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Tata Steel, Jindal Steel and other such plants, the VSP does not have its captive iron ore mine. RINL has been depending on the supplies from Bailadila mines being run by the National Mineral Development Corporation and importing coking coal from Austria.

(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)

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