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Saswat Singhdeo

Jajpur: Opposing privatisation of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) at Kalinganagar in Jajpur, workers of the company have been staging protest for last 11 days. Members of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and the Congress party have joined the workers in their protest.

The protesting workers have alleged that due to lapses on the part of the management, work was affected in the company. They have demanded revival of the company with investment from the Central government. Sources said the labour union has also demanded social and economic security for the permanent workers of the company.

"For last 11 days, we are protesting against the State and Centre for disinvesting their stake in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited. So far nobody has come to us. We will continue our protest," said Babuli Purti, Secretary of Neelachal Bisthapita Committee.

Convenor of Neelachal Banchao Milita Mancha, Ranjan Nayak said, "They closed the blast furnace and eventually the factory was shut. No funds were disbursed to buy raw materials. Despite raising the issue on various forums, our voices fell on deaf ears and hence, we have been forced to stage protest."

"We completely oppose the decision of the government to privatise the company. We will continue to support the agitation," said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president, Niranjan Patnaik.

NINL is a joint venture of the Centre and Odisha government. Earlier this month, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave an in principle approval for strategic disinvestment in NINL.

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