Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has not been able to create an environment of security for the potential buyers of the Salem Steel Plant (SSP) to do the due diligence, said Union Steel Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia on Monday.
Answering a supplementary question raised by DMK’s Rajya Sabha Member P. Wilson on the status of SSP’s disinvestment, its valuation, job security of the employees Scindia said: “The SSP is, certainly, slated for disinvestment.”
Scindia said the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) under the Ministry of Finance and his steel ministry are working together on this.
“We have tried to take our investors to do due diligence and visit the plant, but, unfortunately, I regret to inform the House that the State Government has not been able to create the security environment for the due diligence by the investors to take place,” Scindia said.
“However, we have said that the financial bids should be submitted. I believe; don’t hold me to this, but I think some time in January, I stand to be corrected, I will revert to you,” Scindia told Wilson.
Meanwhile PMK Founder S.Ramadoss on Tuesday said the SSP should not be privatised but should be upgraded and run in the public sector.
Ramadoss said in 2019 a global tender was issued for SSP and nobody submitted a bid and the process stopped after that due to Covid pandemic.
According to the PMK leader, the central government is eager to transfer 4,000 acre of land owned by the SSP to private parties and Tamil Nadu will not allow that to happen.
Ramadoss said if the SSP cannot be modernised and turned around then the 4,000 acre should be returned to the original owners who were paid less than Rs.5,000/ acre then.