Prime Minister David Cameron Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Washington…reports Asian Lite News
The two leaders discussed various bilateral issues. Both leaders will be in the US capital for the Nuclear Security Summit. More details of the meeting will be available later. But Vikas Swarup, Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, in a tweet quoting prime minister Modi as “On every occasion, the opportunity to strengthen an old partnership.”
Modi visited London in 2015 November and initiated a new Indo-UK relationship. Newspapers were speculating Cameron will raise the Tata Steel issue with the Indian leader.
Tata Steel is planning halt British operations which will affect up to 40,000 jobs, The Guardian reported.
The daily also quoted an unnamed source as saying that Tata Steel was losing one million pounds per day, with the government’s failure to back the calls in Europe for higher tariffs against cheap Chinese imports being the “last straw” to prompt the company’s decision.
The Labour Party has termed it a national crisis wanting the steel industry to be nationalised. But British Business Secretary Sajid Javid has rejected the idea as it could carry a price tag of 1.5 billion pounds per annum. “I don’t think that nationalisation is going to be the solution,” The Guardian quoted Javid as saying.
The paper said Cameron was expected to raise the issue with Modi.
Tatas have written off two billion pounds from the value of the group’s UK assets, rendering the investment effectively worthless. The Guardian quoted Tata Steel finance director Koushik Chatterjee as saying that the UK operations were “quite a burden” and one which the company couldn’t sustain.
Having suffered nearly $3 billion in losses on the UK operations, Tata Steel on Wednesday said it will explore options to put its entire portfolio there up for sale, some 10 years after it forayed into Europe by acquiring Anglo-Dutch Corus for over $8.1 billion.