VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam, which is conducting protests and agitations against the Vizag Steel Plant privatisation move, launched a ‘missed call’ campaign. The ‘Save Visaka Steel’ missed call campaign records people's voices supporting the stir. In two days, it has received more than 20,000 missed calls.
TD leaders informed that it has begun this campaign urging supporters to give a missed call to 8099-981981. They stated that this is part of the TD's efforts to utilise social media to step up the agitation in the coming weeks. There has been an impressive response to online campaigns - #JusticeForVizag and #VisakhaUkkuAndhrulaHakku that are trending on Twitter and Facebook.
Meanwhile, senior party leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy on Saturday accused YSRC MP Vijay Sai Reddy of playing with people’s lives with his double standards on the critical issue.
He termed it as 'regrettable' that Vijay Sai Reddy started a fake padayatra after having played a sinister role in the secret deal to sell the steel plant to Posco company.
Murthy claimed that YS Avinash Reddy was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Council but he did not question the Centre on the VSP issue even once. He recalled that the AP Chief Secretary and Industries Principal Secretary themselves attended the disinvestment meeting in Delhi. He demanded the YSRC MPs to explain why they had not expressed their protest in the Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association recommended allotment of the captive iron mine and debts restructuring for the protection of Vizag Steel from privatization. It conducted a round-table meeting on the 100% disinvestment of Vizag Steel Plant and the economic development of Andhra Pradesh here on Saturday.
Andhra Chambers president KVS Prakash Rao and general secretary Potluri Bhaskara Rao said that the meeting has opined that the 100% disinvestment of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (RINL) announced by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs earlier this month was not a welcome move and the state government should seriously relook at the process and weigh other options to make the plant viable and sustainable.
They said that the round-table unanimously recommended allotment of a captive iron mine to Vizag Steel, debt restructuring as the steel plant is paying an interest rate of 14%, which is very high and if required, 10% equity can be given to the public. The meeting decided that associations will support the movement to stop the disinvestment of Vizag Steel Plant as it is the largest PSU in Andhra Pradesh and people are emotionally attached to RINL.
The plant earned profits from 2002 to 2014 and became a “Navaratna” company. It’s only from 2014- 15 that RINL has been making losses, following expansion plans and the absence of a captive iron ore mine.
Affiliate associations like A.P. Small Industries Association, CREDAI, Krishna District Lorry Owners Association, All India Chillies Exporters Association, A.P. Food Processing Federation, A.P. Lorry Owners Association, Kondapalli Industries Association, National Real Estate Development Council AP, Andhra Pradesh Textile Spinning Mills Association and Krishna District Finance Association participated in the discussion....