NMDC workers to go on two-day national strike

RAIPUR: In a joint meeting of of All India National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Karmachari Sangh at Jagdalpur, divisional headquarters of Bastar, NMDC workers have decided to conduct two-day tools down strike on February 20 and 21.

The strike is in protest against the move to disinvest NMDC’s upcoming integrated steel plant at Nagarnar. NMDC workers union have resolved not to allow transfer of the Nagarnar plant to private hands and to oppose any move for disinvestment of the plant.

The union stated that the BJP government has been favoring privatization, overlooking the interests of public sector undertakings, employees as well as of the local population.

The unions expressed anguish over the manner in which the government was trying to entrust public sector undertakings into private hands, pointing out how the previous Atal Behari Vajpayee government had created a separate ministry for disinvestment, while Modi government is trying to sell out the Bastar plant even before it is commissioned.

Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh has also opposed the move for disinvestment while the local farmers, whose land where acquired for setting up the public sector unit, have also threatened to organize protests, pointing out that the promises made to them with regard to their relief and rehabilitation have not been fulfilled.
State Janata Congress, led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi, has also opposed the move to entrust the Nagarnar steel plant to private sector, saying that the plant was proposed to promote economic growth of Bastar, as well as to provide employment to the local youth.

Two months after Cabinet approved strategic sales in about 20 PSUs, the centre has taken initiative to fast track disinvestments, including that of 3MTPA Nagarnar Steel Plant, being developed at an estimated cost of more than Rs 15,000 crore.