Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], December 29 (ANI): Nagarnar Steel Plant of Bastar should not be disinvested by the Government of India, and the Chhattisgarh government is ready to buy the plant in case of disinvestment, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Monday.
Speaking during a discussion on the government resolution in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly, Baghel said the state government will not let the Nagarnar Steel Plant go into private hands, and will run it itself.
As per an official release, after the announcement of the Chief Minister, the government resolution titled "This House requests the Central Government not to disinvest the Nagarnar Steel Plant in Bastar district, established by NMDC, a Government of India undertaking. In the event of disinvestment, the Government of Chhattisgarh agrees to buy it," was passed unanimously.
"The Chief Minister said that this is an important event in the history of Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly. He said that the question is about the identity of Chhattisgarh, the tribals of Bastar. The people of Bastar have an emotional attachment to it. The land was given to the public sector undertaking, the mine was also given to National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) on the condition that it would set up a steel plant here. This was the intention of the state government as well as the people. There were frequent movements regarding this," it stated.
Chhattisgarh government said the passage of the proposal was necessary because the Centre is preparing for the disinvestment of this plant and is ready to complete it by September 2021 and in this case, mine has been separated from NMDC by demerger.
"The Chief Minister said that in the case of Nagarnar, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Government of India agreed in November 2016 to sell 51 per cent shares of NMDC's Nagarnar Steel Plant to a private sector company. It is unfortunate that the then Chief Minister wrote to the Prime Minister that if it is handed over to private hands, then it will become difficult to control Naxalite activities," it stated further.
According to the release, Baghel said that there are 637 acres of government land and 1,506 acres of private land.
"The tribals gave land on the condition that public enterprises should be set up here. Repeated objections were also lodged by the asset advisor, the legal advisor to the Government of India, that the plant should not be sold," the Chief Minister said.
"We are trying to win the trust of tribals, traditional residents of Bastar. Whether it is a matter of returning the land, whether it is a matter of increasing the support price of Tendu leaves, whether it is a matter of individual leases and community leases or raising the number of small forests produce purchased from 7 to 52 and adding value to it, these all are steps in the direction of employing local people continuously. Our effort is to win the trust. As a result, today, the presence of Naxalites has been reduced to pockets," he added. (ANI)