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West Bengal again urges Centre not to ‘dismantle’ SAIL RMD

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 18, 2021

Amit Mitra, West Bengal Finance Minister

Mitra talks about ‘ominous pattern‘ of removing HQs of PSUs from Kolkata

With no assurance from the Centre coming its way, the West Bengal government has once again petitioned the Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan not to dismantle SAIL’s Kolkata-based Raw Material division (RMD).

“I once again urge you to stop dismantling of the RMD and keep its headquarters in Kolkata,” West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said in a letter to Pradhan on Friday.

The letter comes just two days after an earlier letter from Mitra that had contended that the dismantling of the RMD may lead to the public-sector steelmaker’s Durgapur and Burnpur plants turning unviable.

He had also expressed apprehensions that the Centre plans to privatise the two profitable plants after restricting their supply of raw materials, which is currently being overseen by the RMD.

Expressing disappointment that his earlier letter of Wednesday did not evoke any response on the RMD matter from Pradhan (who had replied to the letter), Mitra on Friday said in the second letter “Your confirmation that RMD will not be dismantled and its headquarters will remain in Kolkata will reassure many anxious workers and their families in the midst of this pandemic”.

Ominous pattern

Mitra also brought to the attention of Pradhan an “ominous pattern” — since the Modi government came into office—of removing headquarters of public sector enterprises from Kolkata.

He cited the shifting of the offices of five subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd away from Kolkata last year as the latest example.

Published on June 18, 2021

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