As many as 29 companies, including seven from abroad, have submitted bids to supply raw materials and working capital to Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). The deadline for submitting the Expression of Interest (EoI) was April 20. The Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments did not submit bids, despite Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao sending a team from Singareni Collieries Company Limited to study the feasibility of doing so. The VSP employees have been protesting against the government’s decision to privatise the public sector undertaking.
The deadline for submitting bids was initially April 15 but was extended by five days. The RINL had invited EoI for supply of raw materials and (or) funding of working capital against the supply of finished steel products. Meanwhile, former CBI joint director V V Lakshmi Narayana submitted a bid and asked the VSP management to clarify if they accept public donations to tide over the working capital crunch which led to the issuance of EoI.
Lakshmi Narayana submitted a letter to the Chairman and Managing Director of VSP, informing him that he wished to request people to donate funds required for the working capital of the RINL in the form of public donations credited directly to the RINL bank account. Addressing a press conference along with Lakshmi Narayana on Wednesday, Praja Shanti Party President and evangelist K A Paul said he was ready to purchase the steel plant at five times more than the quoted price. He said he was also fighting a legal battle against the privatisation of the VSP.