Durgapur News Desk, 12 March 2018: Struggle to save the Alloy Steels Plant of Durgapur from disinvestment got a boost after Asansol MP of the BJP, who happens to be the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises assured best of effort from his side during a meeting yesterday, with the joint forum of trade unions fighting for the cause since last three months.
The meeting was held at Baskopa Inn, near Muchipara of Durgapur. Durgapur East MLA Santosh Debroy, prominent leaders of CITU, INTUC, BMS, TUCC and AITUC were also present in the meeting.
Baul Supriyo seems to have taken a keen interest in the ASP disinvestment issue and gave a patient hearing in understanding the situation. Road map to bring out the ailing SAIL unit of ASP out of red were also discussed at length.
Incidentally CITU single-handedly launched a virulent struggle to save ASP, an unit of the Maharatna PSU SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited), from the time SAIL during a regulatory filing in November 2016, disclosed that the Government of India, Ministry of Steel, has communicated the ‘in-principle’ approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for strategic disinvestment of the three SAIL units including the Durgapur-based ASP.
After initial opposition by CITU, other trade unions like CITU, AITUC, INTUC, UTUC soon joined the movement and formed a joint forum.
However, INTTUC, the TMC labour union didn’t made themselves available for the joint forum, but were independently opposing the ASP disinvestment move. Recently, a team of TMC MP met the Steel Minister in New Delhi and handed over a memorandum demanding that the union minister must take steps to ensure that ASP don’t get disinvested.
Earlier in December 2016, leaders of the joint forum along with Durgapur MLA and ex-Durgapur MP met the Union Steel Minister, Chaudhury Birendra Singh, in New Delhi. The representative team explained the steel minister as to why selling ASP, Durgapur which in recent years has emerged as a key producer of special steels for the country’s strategic sectors like Defence & Railways among others would be suicidal for the sovereignty and security of the country.