The Telangana government is reportedly making a bid for the Vizag Steel Plant (VCP) through its Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and accusing the Centre of attempting to privatise the steel plant. According to a report by the Times of India, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has instructed officials from the government and SCCL to visit VSP and prepare a blueprint. The last date for submitting bids for VSP is 15 April. The move is the first time a state-run company will place bids to secure a PSU in a neighbouring state.
The Telangana government has a majority stake in SCCL of 51%, while the Centre holds the remaining 49%. BRS working president KT Rama Rao reiterated the party’s support for Vizag Steel Plant workers, saying that the BRS would oppose the Central government’s move to privatise the steel plant. The BRS party has been opposing alleged privatisation of PSUs by the Centre in the two Telugu states.
The BRS organised a ‘Maha Dharna’ to protest against the Centre’s decision to auction Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) coal mines during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city. The report said that there is a possibility of BRS leaders meeting VSP union leaders in Visakhapatnam. According to the report, AP BRS President Thota Chandrasekhar collated information on ways to stall privatisation by participating in bids after his meeting with VSP union leaders.
A senior BRS leader was quoted in the report as saying: “If the BRS government’s strategy works out, the Centre may have to support VSP by providing working capital as was done by former prime ministers Atal Behari Vajpayee and PV Narasimha Rao.” Communist Party of India National Secretary K Narayana on Monday welcomed Telangana’s interest in VSP in Andhra Pradesh. He said that if VSP goes into the hands of private companies like Adani Group, it would be a great loss to the country and appreciated CM KCR’s decision to take over the PSU.