The former Joint Director VV Lakshminarayana, who has sound knowledge of public policy, has put forth some suggestions for the revival of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), instead of allowing it to go under the hammer. Lakshminarayana’s suggestions come at a time the Centre appears to be determined to implement its decision of 100 percent disinvestment of the Vizag-based state-run Navaratana steelmaker.
The retired IPS officer said that if losses alone were the criteria to sell RINL, the Government, instead of going for total disinvestment, can give partial stake with management control to an outside entity so that best management, technological practices can be brought in that may turn around the plant. He pointed out the example of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd that was launched as a Government of India entity with Japan’s Suzuki as a minor partner to make a people’s car for the middle-class.
Since its inception, the company’s product range has widened, ownership has changed hands and the customer has evolved. “Maruti Udyog has now become Maruti Suzuki. Centre can take a cue from Maruti’s success story. The company is doing extremely well,” Lakshminarayana told Hello Vizag. He had also laid out the example of one government entity buying a stake in another government entity. In its most expensive acquisition ever, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) which is an Indian public sector multinational crude oil and gas company paid Rs 36,915 crore to buy the government’s entire 51.11 percent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) in 2018. The aim was to become a global giant in the oil and gas sector.
The centre can also come up with the same kind of formula by having tie-ups with NMDC, SAIL with RINL so that it can emerge as a global steel giant to achieve the union government’s ambitious plan to scale up India’s total steel production to 300 million tonnes by 2030, said Lakshminarayana.