Objection to Vizag Steel leasing out its valuable land to the Adani Group

vizag steel


Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha

Union Steel Secretary

Dear Shri Sinha,

I thank you for responding so promptly to my letter of August 27 2023 (https://countercurrents.org/2023/08/has-secl-followed-the-auctioning-routthe report that the-to-appoint-the-adani-group-as-mdo-for-gare-palma-coal-block/) in which I had expressed my concern at RINL trying to lease out 1,000 acres of its land to Adani-owned Gangavaram Port Ltd. In my letter, I pointed out that RINL cannot alienate the land under its occupation, as it was acquired decades ago under the erstwhile land acquisition legislation, in which there was no provision to alienate it to a private company. Moreover, such valuable public land cannot be alienated through a non-transparent procedure, as it would then violate the doctrine of public trust. Further, I pointed out that, had the Steel Ministry helped RINL to get a captive iron ore mine of its own, it would have turned into a profitable company, making it imprudent to subject it to privatisation as is being contemplated now.

In your reply, you were kind enough to clarify as follows:

Ministry is not aware of any proposal to lease out land to Gangavaram Ports. The Ministry has been supporting the RINL in its endeavour to acquire iron ore mines, however, as you would be aware that Mines is a State subject, therefore, RINL’s efforts have not borne fruit so far. It is also submitted for your kind consideration that any enterprise, whether CPSE or otherwise, is an entity by itself and must exist on its own merits. Having said that it is also submitted that the Government is working towards assuring that RINL remains as a going concern

While I feel happy that your Ministry has had  no hand in any proposal that involves RINL’s lands being alienated to a private company, I hope that RINL’s management takes note of my concerns and desists from leasing out its lands to any private company. Such a move would be prima facie illegal.

As far as allotment of an iron ore mine to RINL is concerned, let me clarify that, as per the procedure in vogue today, the States have little say in allotting iron ore mines and it is your counterparts, namely, DEEPAM and the Mines Ministry that decide on it. Considering that the Union functions on the basis of collective responsibility, I do not find it a convincing stand that your Ministry, which is a part of the Central government has no role to play.

To say that RINL has any effective functional autonomy as a CPSE may not be entirely correct in view of the sweeping, regressive contents of DPE’s disinvestment policy guidelines of December 13, 2023. RINL has already come under the anvil of disinvestment and whatever RINL does these days is viewed by the public as at the instance of your Ministry and DIPAM.

I still hope that your Ministry will do everything to strengthen RINL so as to continue it as a CPSE.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma


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