The Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation has suggested that allotment of iron ore captive mine and debt restructuring could save the Vizag steel plant from being privatised. The AP Chambers organised a roundtable meeting on the 100 per cent disinvestment of Vizag Steel Plant and the economic development of Andhra Pradesh here on Sunday.
Andhra Chambers’ president KVS Prakash Rao and general secretary Potluri Bhaskara Rao said that the roundtable meeting has opined that the 100 per cent disinvestment of RINLVisakhapatnam Steel Plant announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs earlier this month was not a welcome step for Andhra Pradesh. They said that the government should seriously relook at the process and weigh other options to make the plant viable and sustainable.
They said that the roundtable unanimously recommended allotment of iron ore captive mine to Vizag Steel plant, debt restructuring as the steel plant is paying an interest rate of 14 per cent, which is very high and if required, 10 per cent equity can be given to the public. The roundtable meeting has decided that the associations will support the movement to stop the disinvestment of Vizag Steel Plant as it is the only largest PSU in Andhra Pradesh and due to the emotional attachment of the people towards RINL.
The association members felt that it is very unfortunate that the Centre has decided to divest its entire stake in RINL when there is a huge potential for expansion in order to cater to the domestic and international markets. The plant earned profits from 2002 to 2014 and became a “Navaratna” company. It’s only from 2014-15 that RINL has been making losses, which is due to the expansion plans taken up and also due to the absence of iron ore captive mine.
Many affiliate associations such as AP Small Industries Association, CREDAI, Krishna District Lorry Owners’ Association, All India Chillies’ Exporters’ Association, AP Food Processing Federation, AP Lorry Owners’ Association, Kondapalli Industries Association, National Real Estate Development Council AP, Andhra Pradesh Textile Spinning Mills Association and Krishna District Finance Association participated in the discussion.