Setting path for privatising the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), the Cabinet has approved the privatisation of steel-maker Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the ‘navratna’ PSU which runs the 7.3 million tonne (mt) capacity Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
The government till now holds a 100 per cent stake in the company which has over 17,000 permanent employees. It can be noted that RINL has been incurring heavy losses since FY17 except for FY19 over which the steel-maker is forced to approve a revised voluntary retirement scheme for employees to cut costs.
While RINL also runs RINMOIL Ferro Alloys Pvt Ltd, an equal joint venture with MOIL Ltd and RINL Powergrid TLT Pvt Ltd, also an equal joint venture with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, the Cabinet entrusted powers to the Alternative Mechanism headed by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, to decide whether the subsidiaries of Vizag Steel Plant will be part of the transaction.
Trade Unions, on the other hand, held a protest demonstration against the Centre’s attempts to privatise. Jyesta Ayodhya Ramu, president of the plant’s recognised workers’ union says that the workers and the people of Vishakapatnam will not allow the Central Government to privatise the plant.