Massive protest against disinvestment of Durgapur-based ASP

Protest against disinvestment of Durgapur-based Alloy Steels Plant

Durgapur News Desk, 14 February 2018: The industrial town of Durgapur erupted into protest as news of state-run Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) inviting bid for strategic sale of its Alloy Steels Plant at Durgapur started pouring in.

The government had last year cleared outright sale of state-owned SAIL’s three special steel units — Salem Steel Plant, Alloy Steels Plant and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant. However, the recent circular names only Durgapur-based ASP as the unit being put up for sale.

Bids for the special producing SAIL unit of Alloy Steels Plant in Durgapur are to be submitted by April 11, 2018.
Protest rallies and sit-in dharnas were spontaneously held in front of the ASP gate. Local MLA of the CPI(M), Mr. Santosh Debroy, INTTUC leader Ashok Kundu, INTUC leader Bikash Ghatak, CITU leader Benoyendra Kishor Chakraborty, and CPI(M) leader Pankaj Roy Sarkar spoke on the occasion and vehemently protested against such a decision of the central government.

“Alloys Steels Plant (ASP) of SAIL is proposed for strategic divestment and the company has appointed SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBICAP) as its transaction advisor to advice and manage the process,” the steel maker said in a stock exchange filing.

The bidding process is to implemented through open competitive bidding route, it said.

As part of the strategic disinvestment, Alloy Steels Plant will be transferred to the strategic investor, on a going concern basis, which is by way of slump sale through business transfer agreement.

“The strategic investor will be appointed through a competitive bidding process, which shall be handled by the Government of India and its functionaries including, but not limited to, SAIL and Ministry of Steel,” said the preliminary information memorandum for inviting bids.

The total capacity of the Alloy Steels Plant is 2.46 lakh MT per annum of liquid steel and 1.84 lakh MT per annum of saleable steel.

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