Kolkata: The government has decided to reopen the Kulti works, the oldedst steel unit in the country which was closed in 2003, Union Minister of Steel Ram Vilas Paswan announced here today.
“We have decided to reopen Kulti works. The SAIL board has been asked to take a decision in this regard. I will formally announce the reopening of the unit on 16 October,” Paswan told reporters here.
Paswan said that no party should take credit for the reopening of reopening Kulti works as it was the decision of the UPA government, adding that the unit shoudl never have been closed.
SAIL had downed shutters at Kulti on 1 April 2003, after all the employees of the plant participated in the voluntary retirement scheme.
Paswan said that ever since the UPA government came to power, its policy was not to close any plant and try to reopen the closed units.
Kulti Works, set up in 1870 as Bengal Iron Works Company, became part of Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) in 1936. When IISCO , now called IISCO Steel Plant, became sick and got referred to the Board for Industrial and Finance Reconstruction, it closed the Kulti plant.
The unit used to produce cast iron and spun pipes which has lost market after the advent of ductile iron pipes.
Referring to the merger of erstwhile Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) with SAIL, Paswan said,“when I took the decision the CPI-M leaders were surprised”.