New Delhi [India], June 11 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Delhi, urging the Centre not to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and to consider the alternatives suggested by the State for reviving the plant.
The CM also, in the meeting that stretched over one hour, also discussed the issue of Kakinada Petro Complex.
"He said that 32 people have laid down their lives to set up the plant in Visakhapatnam, where nearly 20,000 people are employed and thousands more are having indirect employment. Further, the Chief Minister explained that VSP performed well and made profits between 2002-2015," read an official release by the Andhra government CMO.
"The plant has gone through an expansion by taking loans, but due to the slump in international market during 2014-15, the organisation fall into debts with the increasing operational costs and lack of own mines. In fact, VSP has achieved the highest ever capacity utilisation of 6.3 MTPA against the installed capacity of 7.3 MTPA and started making a monthly profit of close to Rs 200 crores and continuing this performance for a further period of two years will result in improving the financial situation," the statement added.
He further said that the plant has supplied over 7,000 MT of oxygen during the second wave of COVID-19, saving lives of people in hard times and further assured that the state is ready to work with the relevant central departments to protect this company.
CM Jaganmohan Reddy also met Union Minister Piyush Goyal and appealed to release the pending arrears of Rs 3,229 crore for AP Civil Supplies Corporation, as they would come in handy for paying farmers towards Rabi crop procurement.
"During discussion, the Chief Minister said that free rice distribution will be carried out for another two months due to COVID-19 and stated that effective measures are being taken by the government to overcome the pandemic crisis," the statement said.
He also said that under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), till December 2015, nearly 1.29 crore ration card holders in State were provided with 1,85,640 MT of rice every month, but after December 2015, considering 2011 census, the distribution has been limited to only 60.96 per cent households in rural areas and 41.14 per cent households in urban areas, where only 0.91 crore ration card holders are receiving the ration and the allocation was reduced to 1,54,148 MT. (ANI)