Visakhapatnam: Employee unions on Wednesday expressed opposition to the proposed 10% disinvestment in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Visakha Steel Employees’ Congress (VSEC), affiliated to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), and Steel Progress Employees Union (SPEU), associated with Centre of Indian Trade Unions, have opposed the NDA government’s move to sell 10% stake in the public sector company.

Both unions on Wednesday submitted memorandums to Union steel secretary G. Mohan Kumar, who was on a visit to the plant here, in this regard.

In its memorandum, VSEC urged the Centre not to go ahead with the sell-off in RINL. “RINL should continue to function in the public sector space and no unit of it should be privatized. There should be no privatization or divestment (of the company) at any cost," VSEC general secretary Rajasekhar Mantri said.

SPEU president J. Ayodyaramu and general secretary Y.T. Das said, “we strongly oppose the disinvestment plans in RINL by the Ministry of Steel." “Since its inception, VSP has been generating huge revenue for the Government. Till now VSP has paid around 22,000 crore to the Government in form of taxes and duties.

“The plant has invested more than 12,600 crore for expansion of capacity to 6.3 million tonnes per annum. The plant has the potential to increase its production capacity to up to 20 million tonnes per annum," they said.

The proposed disinvestment could lead to privatization of the profit-making firm, the SPEU functionaries said.

Last week, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha that cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) has approved disinvestment in RINL and the process is “tentatively scheduled for completion in 2014-15".

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