Increasing steel output top priority: Virbhadra Singh

May 29th, 2009 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh Friday said ensuring the timely completion of the expansion projects drawn up by state-run steel units to increase the production of the commodity was among his top priorities.
“There is also the need restructure the small steel public sector undertakings and attempt to merge them to bring about more synergies among them,” Singh told reporters here after taking charge his new portfolio.

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Niham Ltd (RINL), the two state-run large steel companies have major expansion plans totalling Rs.700 billion ($14 billion).

While SAIL intends to grow its output to 26 million tonnes per annum, RINL wants to increase its output to six million tonnes after the expansion, the minister said.

The former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh said another area of focus for him would be to bring in a rational, seamless and transparent regime for allocation of raw material resources to existing and prospective steel producers.

In this regard, he said, constructive dialogue will be established with the mines ministry to remove legislative bottlenecks.

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