In a fresh attack on the NDA government at the Centre, working president of the ruling TRS and Telangana Industries Minister K T Rama Rao on Monday alleged that the Centre is trying to privatize the state-owned mining firm Singareni Collieries.
“The coal of Singareni Collieries is a big asset for Telangana. People of Telangana will give a befitting reply to BJP for their act of privatizing Singareni,” he said. The Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) is a Government coal mining company jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and Government of India on a 51:49 equity basis.
Rama Rao has written to Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi on SCCL, a release from his office said. The SCCL is not just a coal mine but a gold mine that is providing employment to thousands of youths of Telangana, Rama Rao said. Employees of Singareni and the people of Telangana “will show their power in Delhi if the BJP continues its attempts to privatize the company”, he said.
“This agitation will be much bigger than the agitation staged against the three farm laws,” he said. Rama Rao “expressed anger” over the SCCL being asked to participate in the auction for JBROC-3, KK-6, Shravana Pally OC, Koyagudem coal mines instead of allocating them directly to the company, the release said. The Centre is supposed to allocate coal mines to strengthen the Singareni which is running in profits, he claimed.
Instead, they are asking the company to take part in an auction for mines. This is nothing but creating hurdles for Telangana and its development, he said. In his letter to Joshi, Rama Rao demanded allocation of coal mines directly to Singareni. Highlighting the rise in production and other achievements of the company in recent years, he said privatization would herald the company’s downfall.
Rama Rao claimed that the BJP is planning to push Singareni into losses and then privatize it. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the iron ore mines required for the Vizag Steel Plant were not provided, which led to losses, and that plant will be privatized soon, he said. About 27 requisition letters related to the Steel Plant were still pending with the Union Government, he added.
According to the release, Rama Rao questioned the Centre as to why the coal mines were not allocated to Singareni directly like the allocation of Lignite mines to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation in Gujarat. “Under BJP Governance, there is one rule for Gujarat and another rule for Telangana! Is Telangana not a part of India?” he asked. The TRS and BJP have been engaged in a war of words over different issues over the last few months.