in protest of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited’s Visakhapatnam steel plant being handover to POSCO. On this occasion, the author of the book, CITU State President CH Narasinga Rao said. 'We will prevent the privatization of the steel plant; the central government is maliciously conspiring to privatize the steel plant. The South Korean company is preparing to tie up the Visakhapatnam steel plant with Posco, citing losses. The decision not to consult the state government on the steel plant deal is atrocious. We have achieved a steel plant as a result of many sacrifices. We are going on a massive strike on November 26.”
The speakers said the Centre entered into an agreement on August 23 with the POSCO to run it as a joint venture company with Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. The proposed joint venture company is scheduled to commence production with a capacity of 5 million tonnes. The government has allotted the VSP land to the POSCO for this JV, which requires an investment of INR 30,000 crore, of which at least INR 10,000 crore would have to be paid by the VSP, despite the fact that the PSU is already running a loss of INR 3,000 crore.
The trade union leader noted that the VSP was established after a long drawn struggle, and 32 persons sacrificing their lives. It was established as a public sector heavy industry, with a government investment of only INR 5,000 crore. But, the VSP has paid INR 40,303 crore as taxes and dividends. It has also expanded from 1.2 million tonnes to 7.3 million tonnes capacity, by raising funds from its own resources. There are 18,000 permanent and 18,000 contract employees. Indirectly millions of people depend on this steel plant for their livelihood.