The Minister of State for Steel Shri A.Sai Prathap today said that demand of steel producers for measures to curb the threat of cheap steel imports and dumping must be immediately addressed. He was talking to newsmen after taking charge as Union Minister of State for Steel here today. He said all major steel producers are going for capacity expansion. They include the public sector giants, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL).
Shri A. Sai Prathap said a major challenge of the Steel Ministry is to complete the expansion programme of Steel Authority of India and the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited on time with SAIL’s production capacity going up from the present level around 15 million tones per annum to around 26 million tonnes over the next three years. While RINL’s capacity would double from the present level of 3 million tonnes per annum to around 6 million tonnes in two years with a total investment of more than Rs. 70,000 crore in both these companies. NMDC Limited, Hyderabad is also proposing to set up a Green field Integrated Steel Plant at Chhattisgarh for producing 3 million tonnes of steel per annum.
He said a proposal for RINL to acquire Neelanchal Ispat Nigam Limited having a 1 million tonne integrated steel plant at Orissa is also under active consideration of this Ministry.
Shri A. Sai Prathap said, a key strategic priority would be to operationalise the newly set up International Coal Ventures Limited which is a partnership of SAIL, RINL, NMDC, Coal India Limited and NTPC for acquiring coal mines overseas for the use of Indian Steel producers like SAIL and RINL.
He said most of the Steel PSUs are in profit mode, making significant contributions to the Government exchequer. To capture the benefits of improved synergies, some of the Steel PSUs are in the process of restructuring and mergers. The companies under restructuring/mergers include the Bird Group of Companies, HSCL, BRL and SIIL.