Synopsis: Eminent economist E. A. S. Sarma pens a letter raising objections against Vizag Steel's proposal to lease its land to the Adani-owned Gangavaram Port Ltd. He highlights the legal intricacies and public trust doctrine, asserting the illegality of such a move. He emphasizes the potential profitability of Vizag Steel with a captive iron ore mine, urging against its privatization. The letter is a response to the Union Steel Secretary's clarification regarding the matter, reports Counter CurrentsArticle: In a compelling epistolary address, renowned economist E. A. S. Sarma has voiced his objections to the proposed leasing of land by Vizag Steel to the Adani-owned Gangavaram Port Ltd. Sarma's concerns center around legalities, transparency, and the imperative of preserving public trust.Sarma's missive underscores the legality of the land lease, indicating that the land under Vizag Steel's occupation cannot be transferred to a private entity due to its acquisition under past land acquisition legislation. The absence of provisions for such alienation raises the specter of a prima facie illegal move.The economist shines a spotlight on the doctrine of public trust, asserting that any disposition of valuable public land must adhere to transparent processes to honor the public's faith. A non-transparent procedure, Sarma contends, would be in contravention of this cardinal principle.A pivotal aspect of Sarma's contention revolves around the profitability potential of Vizag Steel. The economist posits that the company could have attained profitability through the acquisition of its own iron ore mine. Sarma challenges the prudence of contemplating privatization when a path to in-house profitability might have existed.The Union Steel Secretary's response is also elucidated in Sarma's letter. The Ministry disclaims involvement in the land lease proposal and asserts its support for Vizag Steel in acquiring its own iron ore mines. Sarma, however, questions the Central government's stance and collective responsibility in such matters.Sarma's epistle underscores the need to bolster Vizag Steel's position as a central public sector enterprise. He raises concerns regarding the looming specter of disinvestment and the potential impact of the government's disinvestment policy guidelines.Conclusion: E. A. S. Sarma's eloquent letter raises poignant questions surrounding the proposed land lease by Vizag Steel. His concerns transcend legality, delving into the realms of public trust, profitability, and public sector autonomy. As the discourse unfolds, the matter serves as a reminder of the multifaceted considerations that underpin decisions in the intersection of commerce and governance.