West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Wednesday urged Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to not shift the raw materials division (RMD) of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) from Kolkata, saying that the move could impact two steel plants in the state and affect families of employees.
In a letter to Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, Mitra said "I am shocked to learn from the media that the RMD, headquartered in Kolkata, is being dismantled. This will result in the job loss of scores of contractual employees in the midst of the pandemic, literally outing them in harm's way. And over 100 permanent employees will face destabilisation of their families, their spouses and their children, with the imminent transfer."
He also said the iconic Durgapur and Burnpur integrated steel plants would be left with no captive mines, nor would they get any supplies of iron ore.
"Incidentally, this move of dismantling RMD headquartered in Kolkata and the resultant negative implications on Durgapur and Sampan follows in the heels of BJP's recent electoral loss in Bengal," Mitra said while questioning the timing of the developments.
Mitra said the mines run by the RMD will be entirely allocated to Rourkela and Bokaro steel plants in Odisha and Jharkhand respectively.
"Such allocations would leave Durgapur and Burnpur integrated steel plants of SAIL in the lurch, to procure their raw materials from the open market or remain at the mercy of Rourkela and Bokaro to provide the raw materials, if they so desire," Mitra stated in his letter.
Mitra further stated, "I am deeply apprehensive that the two massive plants would either be asset-stripped or be sold in the name of disinvestment, having crippled them through the current policy shift."
He suggested to the Union Minister that to secure the future of two profitable steel plants of the SAIL, he should instruct the officers on the board to stop SAIL from dismantling RMD. (ANI)