Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy (File photo)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday met Union Steel and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and urged him not to privatize the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).
New Delhi. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday met Union Steel and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and urged him not to privatize the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). Reddy, who was in Delhi for two days, held talks with Pradhan on the second day on Kakinada Petro Complex and VSP, according to an official statement.
In the meeting, the Chief Minister appealed to the Central Government to stop the privatization of VSP and urged to look into the options suggested by the state to bring the factory back on track. He said that 20,000 people are employed in VSP and thousands of people have got indirect employment from the factory. The company performed well and made profits between 2002 and 2015.
Reddy said the factory has expanded by taking loans, but during 2014-15 due to the slowdown in the international market, the company went into debt due to rising operating costs and lack of own mines. He requested for allotment of mine in Odisha for the use of VSP which will help in bringing the factory back on track. He also suggested other measures for restructuring the finances of VSPs. Under this, all short-term and long-term debt can be converted into equity. This will reduce the debt burden.
Also read:- Kerala: 104-year-old woman defeated Corona in 11 daysThe factory has a debt of Rs 22,000 crore. It attracts interest at a high rate of 14 percent. If this debt is converted into equity and the unit is listed on the stock exchange, then the interest burden will be completely eliminated.
Banks will also be able to redeem their stake through the stock market. The Chief Minister said that the VSP has supplied 7,000 tonnes of oxygen during the second wave of Kovid-19, which helped in saving lives in difficult times. Referring to the Kakinada Petro Complex, he said that under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, a promise was made to set up a petro complex in the Kakinada SEZ (Special Economic Zone).
Public Sector HPCL-GAIL has prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project. Under this, it has been proposed to set up a project of capacity of one million tonnes at a cost of Rs. According to the Chief Minister, the Center has sought Rs 975 crore per year for 15 years to make the project practical. Urging for a reduction in it, he said that the state cannot bear such a burden in the present circumstances.