Wednesday, August 10, 2022

SEFI demands ‘Maha merger’ of steel PSUs SAIL, RINL, NINL, others to form mega entity

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  • The merged mega steel entity will play an important role in achieving the target of 300 MTPA of steel production by 2030-31, SEFI has argued

  • Each of steel units has their strengths and weaknesses, but merger of them into single unit would help them to synergise their strengths, it added

New Delhi: The Steel Executives Federation of India (SEFI) has passed a resolution demanding the ‘Maha merger’ of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and its subsidiary units with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL), NMDC and MECON to form a ‘Maha steel PSU unit.’ The organisation has argued that the merged mega steel entity will play an important role in achieving the target of 300 MTPA of steel production by 2030-31.

At a meeting held on April 4, the SEFI unanimously adopted a resolution that said, “A single Maha Steel Unit be formed by merging, steel plants of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and its subsidiary units with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and its subsidiary company, Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Ltd, NMDC (both steel plant and mining sector) and MECON under the Ministry of Steel.” The meeting was attended by representatives of Officers’ Association of SAIL (Bokaro, Bhillai, Rourkela, Durgapur, Burnpur, Salem, Bhadravati, Chandrapur, CMO, RMD, Ranchi), Steel Executives’ Association Visakhapatnam, Officers Association of NINL Duburi, and NSOA.

Maha merger of steel PSUs will synergise their strengths: SEFI

Making a case for the mega merger of steel PSUs, the SEFI said that the merged entity will further expand the country’s steel capacities and will help to realise the target of National Steel Policy. “This Maha Steel merger shall be able to expand further steel capacities. This shall greatly help to realise the targets of National Steel Policy of 300 MTPA steel capacity by 2030-31. Each of steel units has their strengths and weaknesses, but merger of them into single unit would help them to synergise their strengths and turn the weaknesses into opportunities and overall benefits to the nation.” 

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“Steel being an essential component in the growth rate and one that contributes heavily to the GDP of our country, it should be kept under strategic sector of the nation,” said the SEFI. It added that the proposal for the mega merger of steel PSUs is in line with the recommendations made by the Parliament Committee for PSUs in March 2013.

The backdrop

The news comes as the government’s plan for privatisation of RINL-Vizag steel plant is being met with stiff opposition from trade unions in Andhra Pradesh. On January 27, the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of 100 percent shares of the Central government in RINL, along with management control, by way of privatisation. The government has clearly stated its intention to retain a bare minimum number of PSUs in strategic sectors. The steel sector has not been listed under strategic sectors. For FY22, the Centre has set a target of raising Rs 1.75 lakh crore from disinvestment of PSUs. 

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