In January 2018, the Union cabinet approved the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’(CCEA) decision to shut the Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd (TSPL) based in Hospet, Bellary district, Karnataka. The decision comes in the wake of huge losses incurred by the public sector unit. Interestingly, TSPL had a promising start and was one of the first and earliest examples of ‘Make in India’ with BHEL and SAIL among its customers.
The cabinet has approved the sale of the land to the Karnataka government for use by the Karnataka State Housing Board. Along with this, the proposal to transfer metallurgical and material handling plants to Karnataka and 20,000 square metres of land, has also been cleared.
TSPL was a successor to the Workshops and Machinery Division of the Tungabhadra Dam project, which was established to manufacture gates and hoists required for spillways, sluices and canal gates. These equipment used to be imported earlier and so, it involved outgo of large sums of foreign exchange. TSPL was made a PSU in 1960. The governments of Karnataka (then Mysore) and Andhra Pradesh had equal participation in the company. The company came under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Heavy Industry in 1960, when the Government of India took a 79 per cent stake in the joint venture, making it a central PSU. The PSU apparently became incompetitive over time due to mismanagement and as it did not get any funding from the centre when it needed funds.