Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said there are no plans to terminate any employee of state-owned SAIL or reduce its headcount.
In a letter to West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Pradhan also assured that SAIL will continue to take care of its employees.
On Wednesday, Mitra had requested the steel minister to intervene and stop the dismantling of Raw Materials Division (RMD) of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) in Kolkata, saying it would result in job losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Pradhan, he had said the move to dissolve the RMD headquarters by the board of the company will also be detrimental to the interests of two "iconic and profitable" SAIL's steel plants at Durgapur and Burnpur in West Bengal.
Replying to Mitra, Pradhan said, "There is no plan to terminate or reduce employee strength of the company. SAIL, a responsible employer, will continue to take care of its employees. I hope that clarifies the position as regards to your apprehensions".
The steel minister further said that Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) and IISCO Steel Plant (ISP) in Burnpur are two of the prestigious plants on which SAIL has made large investments, and as part of its expansion plan, the company will have to expand mining operations to produce more iron ore to meet its own requirements.
Even though there are no iron ore mines in West Bengal, iron ore for DSP and ISP is dispatched from the SAIL mines located in other states under the coordination of the Director (Technical, Projects and Raw Materials) of the company, Pradhan added.
SAIL, under the Ministry of Steel, is the country's largest steelmaker with an annual capacity of about 21 million tonne (MT). The company has plans to increase its steelmaking capacity to 50 MT by 2030.
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