Union minister supports steel PSUs’ privatisation amid protests
Union minister of state for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste, who is on a two-day visit of Jharkhand, voiced support for the privatisation of steel PSUs amid protests by trade unions against privatisation.
“People should understand the intention behind privatisation of PSUs. The government wants to revive the closed or sick units and this is the reason for initiating the process of privatisation so that the government and private institutions can join hand for better running of such units,” said Kulaste who visited several corporate social responsibilities (CSR) initiatives of Tata Steel at Jamshedpur.
Answering media queries on the threat of job cuts after privatisation, Kulaste said, “There is a perception that there would be loss of job after the privatisation of units which is baseless. Under the terms of privatisation the government would try to run the sick units in a better manner and ensure that there are no job losses and instead newer avenues of job would be created.”
Significantly, there have been protests against privatisation of steel plants including Visakhapatnam Steel Plant by employees’ union. In fact, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly had earlier this year passed a resolution opposing the Central government proposal to private the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (also known as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant).
In fact, the Union government has proposed the privatisation of several government-owned steel mills namely, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, SAIL’s Alloy Steel Plant (Durgapur), among others.
Kulaste admitted to the impact of the Covid crisis on the steel sector and is preparing an action plan to help the steel units out of the crisis.
“Gradually the steel sector is returning back on track and we are taking suggestions of the steel industries in making an action plan to mitigate the crisis. The government will extend all support to steel players,” said Kulaste.
The minister on his arrival in Jamshedpur was accompanied by senior Tata Steel executives and was taken to the Tribal Culture Centre to take a look at the rich tribal culture and heritage. The minister also visited the Dorabji Tata Park named after Dorabji Tata, the eldest son of Tata Group founder J.N. Tata and also learnt about the contribution of Dorabji Tata and his wife Meherbai Tata in the revival of the Tata Steel unit. Incidentally, August 27 is the birth anniversary of Dorabji Tata. The minister also visited Tata Steel archives at the Centre for Excellence.
Earlier in the day, the minister held an interaction with SAIL officials at Ranchi. Faggan who is also minister of state for rural development also interacted with state rural development secretary Manish Ranjan and NREGA commissioner Rajeshwari B and reviewed central government rural development schemes in the state.