AMNS India, Tata Steel & JSW Steel Eying RINL Assets
While the protests by workers against central government’s resolve to sell assets of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited are growing louder, several Indian steel makers have shown interest. News agency PTI reported that AMNS India has expressed interest in making a bid for state owned steelmaker Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited. PTI quoted a source as saying "AMNS India is exploring this option.”
Tata Steel CEO & MD Mr TV Narendran recently said that his company is interested in acquiring RINL. JSW Steel CFO & Group MD Mr Seshagiri Rao had earlier confirmed that the company would be interested in engaging in the disinvestment process for NINL, RINL and Nagarnar Steel and will be bidding for all three assets.
Incidentally, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant agitation has gained momentum after the two-day dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on August 2 and 3 as all non-BJP parties supported the steel plant agitation and trade union leaders have warned that they will not allow anyone to enter the plant. CITU city secretary Mr B Jagan, while addressing the relay fast at Gandhi statue near GVMC office, said “The steelworkers staged protests during visits of Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitaraman and Niti Aayog CEO Mr Amit Kant, which forced them to change their route. However, the central government is behaving irresponsibly by saying that it would sell or close the plant. If the BJP government continues its adamant attitude, it will incur the ire of the Telugu people.”
Meanwhile Andhra Pradesh government has filed an affidavit before the Andhra Pradesh high court, opposing 100% divestment of the Government of India's shareholding in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited. The state government filed the affidavit in a Public Interest Litigation petition moved by former IPS officer Mr VY Lakshminarayana challenging the Union government decision to privatise the steel plant. In its affidavit, the state government said Visakhapatnam Steel Plant was established after the sacrifices of the people and in which 32 lives were lost. Though the Union government has taken a decision as part of its disinvestment policy, it ought to have considered viable alternatives m the case of RINL, to put it back on the path of profit.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 27 January gave its 'in-principle' approval for 100% disinvestment of government stake in RINL along with RINL's stake in its subsidiaries & joint ventures through strategic disinvestment by way of privatisation.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel and operates a 7.3 million tonne steel plant at Vizag in Andhra Pradesh.