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TDP MP urges Centre to review 100 pc equity divestment in Vizag Steel Plant

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) TDP Member of Parliament Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar on Friday demanded that the Centre take steps for revival of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and review its decision to divest government stake.

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He was speaking in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in January 2021 given in-principle approval for 100 per cent strategic disinvestment of the government shareholding in RINL -- also called Visakhapatnam Steel Plant or Vizag Steel -- along with RINL's stake in its subsidiaries/joint ventures.

"Subsequent to the decision of the government, there is much discontent among crores and crores of people of Andhra Pradesh. Employees and union of the plant are staging demonstrations and protesting against the decision. The request to reconsider the government decision has been made in different fora by people's representatives," Kumar said.

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He told the House that RINL was operating at 68 per cent of 6.3 MTPA capacity up to February 2023. Though the blast furnace and steel furnace are modernised and enhanced to 7.3 MTPA, the downstream integrated steel plant producing capacity has not been expanded to 7.3 MTPA, he added.

There are certain constraints which hinder full capacity operation of the plant and obviating those constraints will certainly make running the plant in a profitable manner, he told the House.

He further stated that RINL does not own captive iron mines and has been depending on supplies from NMDC and importing coking coal from Austria. RINL is incurring an additional budget of Rs 15,000-20,000 crore compared with other steel plants.

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He told the House that RINL had requested for captive iron ore mines from the Andhra Pradesh government. But, he said the mines ministry informed in one of his parliamentary questions that it had not received any such recommendation from the state government.

"I request the central government to reconsider their proposal irrespective of the negligent attitude of Government of Andhra Pradesh." Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda demanded sufficient funds for the proposed All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) so that its construction can be completed at the earliest.

He told the House that Rs 250-300 crore would be the share of each AIIMS that has been provided in the Budget, which is sufficient.

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The government has provided Rs 6,000 crore in the Budget for building 22 AIIMS in the country. He told the House that as per CAG estimates, one AIIMS premises needs Rs 3,000 crore for construction and thus it will take 12 years to complete these institutes if the funds are allocated with this speed.

He urged the government to increase the budget allocation.

BJD member Sujeet Kumar urged the government to establish in Odisha a satellite centre of National Centre for Coastal Research.

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DMP Member of Parliament P Wilson expressed his concern over sudden withdrawal of international flights from the Chennai airport.

"There has been drastic withdrawal of international flights from Chennai airport by international operators. This is due to shortage of aerobridges. Only four are available," he added.

BJP MP Naresh Bansal raised the issue of drug menace in Uttarakhand especially among school and college children. The same issue of drug menace in Punjab was raised by AAP MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney.

BJP MP Kanta Kardam demanded stoppage of Vande Bharat Express from Anand Vihar to Ayodhya, at Ghaziabad railway station. PTI KKS KKS ANU ANU

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