VSP not singled out in privatisation policy of Centre, says GVL

The privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) is a policy decision of the Centre and it has nothing to do with any individual case or if a PSU is incurring losses or making profits, BJP MP G.V.L. Narasimha Rao has said.

“The VSP has not been singled out in this regard and the Centre has decided to privatise all manufacturing sectors, except for the four strategic sectors. Moreover, giving away PSUs to private sectors for operating them will only be beneficial to the plants and interests of the people. The interests of the employees will be taken care off,” Mr. Narasimha Rao told the media here on Wednesday.

He agreed that the VSP might have some sentiments attached to it, but that had nothing to do with the Centre’s decision, which was applied for all sectors identified for privatisation.

Referring to the delay in functioning of the new railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters, the MP said that he had a meeting with the Chairman of the Railway Board and other authorities concerned and had asked them to speed up the work.

He pointed out that the delay was due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and some financial losses suffered by the Indian Railway due to the pandemic.

BJP MLC P.V.N. Madhav told the media that a detailed discussion was held with the OSD of the railway zone and the DRM and efforts were on to speed up the process. “We have also discussed about the Rayagada division issue, which is being opposed by many and efforts are on to sort it out,” he said.

Mr. Madhav said that a number of railway projects were in the pipeline and the much awaited Visakhapatnam-Varanasi train would be launched shortly. “We have proposed for five more Vistadome coaches for the Araku route,” he said.

Earlier in the day, lashing out at the functioning of the YSRCP government, Mr. Narasimha Rao said that on the one side, it was opposing the privatisation of the VSP and on the other, it was floating corporations to sell cinema tickets, fish and meat.

“The State government does not realise that by doing so, it is going to render traditional fish and meat sellers jobless. Moreover, it appears that the government is trying to acquire some more loans by floating these corporations as it has already gone bankrupt,” he said.

Central funds

He criticised the State government for taking credit for all projects and schemes. “The State government has not spent a single rupee for any of the projects or schemes and all the money is coming from the Centre. Projects such as the Vizag-Raipur and Vijayawada- Bengaluru are fully funded by the Centre. Still, the State government is trying to stake claim on it,” said Mr. Narasimha Rao.

He alleged that many of the projects were put on the back burner, as the State government was not coming forward to contributing its share. “At least 10 such projects, including the proposed industrial corridors such as Vizag-Chennai and Vijayawada-Bengaluru have not made any headway due to the State’s non-committal attitude,” he said.

He also accused the State government of misuse of the deficit grants and said that out of ₹105 lack crore to ₹110 lakh crores earmarked for National Infrastructure Pipeline for the entire country, about ₹8.16 lakh crore have been set aside for Andhra Pradesh. “Despite this, the government is cribbing for more,” said Mr. Narasimha Rao.

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