Durgapur workers hit Kolkata street protesting ASP selloff

Durgapur workers at the sit-in demonstration in Rani Rasmoni Avenue Kolkata protesting ASP selloff bid by Union Government

Durgapur News Desk, 04 April 2017: Workers of Durgapur hit the streets of Kolkata yesterday, protesting disinvestment of the Steel Authority of India Limited’s special steel unit of the Durgapur-based Alloy Steels Plant.

Thousands of workers from both Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) and Alloy Steels Plant (ASP) of Durgapur took part in a sit-in demonstration at the Rani Rasmoni Avenue in Kolkata, adjacent to Esplanade responding to the call of ‘Save ASP, Save Durgapur’, given by the joint forum of several central trade unions.

Save ASP, Save Industry, Save Durgapur slogans rumble Kolkata air

Defying the scorching heat of the blazing sun, worker’s participation at the rally was quite decent. Speakers who spoke at the rally vehemently criticized the selloff strategy of the central and state government and demanded reversal of the anti-national policy.

Later a team of delegates went to meet the governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and handed over a memorandum to him.
The joint forum of trade unions includes central trade unions like CITU, AITUC, INTUC, UTUC and others. After SAIL issued tender notification on 28 February for the engagement of Asset valuer, Transaction adviser and legal adviser for ‘Strategic Disinvestment’ of three SAIL units at Durgapur, Salem and Bhadravati, trade unions have been instrumental in organizing rallies, demonstration, human wall, meeting the union steel minister, among others. They have even served a strike notice.

One might remember that during a regulatory filing in November last year, SAIL 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 of Durgapur, Salem and Bhadravati. SAIL further said: “Disinvestment of these units shall be to strategic buyer(s) to be identified through two-stage auction process as recommended by the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment.

Earlier in September last year, the Niti Ayog’s second list of 22 companies that was recommended for disinvestment mentioned the name of Durgapur-based Alloy Steels Plant.

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