The Andhra Pradesh Bhavanarayana Rao Sangham (AP BRS) has announced a protest against the proposed privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). The decision to privatise the VSP, which is also known as the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), was taken by the central government in January 2021. The AP BRS has called for a state-wide bandh on 26th January 2021 to protest against the decision.
The VSP is one of the largest public sector steel plants in India and has been a major contributor to the economy of Andhra Pradesh. The plant was established in 1982 with the help of the Soviet Union and has since been a symbol of India’s self-reliance in the steel sector. The proposed privatisation of the VSP has been met with strong opposition from various quarters, including trade unions, political parties, and civil society organisations.
The AP BRS, which is a trade union representing the employees of the VSP, has expressed concern that privatisation will lead to job losses and a decline in the quality of steel produced. The union has also pointed out that the VSP has been consistently profitable over the years and there is no need for privatisation. The protest by the AP BRS is expected to be supported by other trade unions and civil society organisations, and could lead to a disruption of normal life in Andhra Pradesh on 26th January 2021.