Steel ministry for 12 mn tonne plant in Jharkhand

April 22nd, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bokaro, April 22 (IANS) Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Tuesday announced plans to set up a greenfield steel plant with 12 million tonne capacity in Jharkhand if the iron ore dispute between the state and his ministry is settled. “The steel ministry is serious about setting up a 12 million tonne greenfield steel plant. The new project is getting delayed due to the dispute over Chiria mines between the ministry and the Jharkhand government,” Paswan told reporters here.

“The steel ministry has proposed to the state to share 1 billion tonne iron ore each from the Chiria mines. However, Jharkhand has not responded to the proposal. The Chiria mines dispute is now pending in Jharkhand High Court. The dispute should be settled soon to help the expansion of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd),” he added.

The minister said: “I appeal to the state government to expedite the clearance of the dispute. The production of steel is rising by 10 percent every year in the country and consumption is rising by 13 percent. We need to increase our production.”

“SAIL has moved to fifth position from eighth in steel production in the last four years. We are likely to achieve second position by 2015. Our initial target was to achieve 110 million tonnes output by 2020, but now we have set a new target of 124 million tonnes by 2011,” Paswan added.

According to him: “To achieve the target, SAIL needs Rs.540 billion ($13.5 billion) for expansion and modernisation of the steel plants.”

“The steel industry majors like Nisco and BRL will merge with SAIL by 2011,” the minister announced.

The steel minister also announced a Rs.3,000 reward for each SAIL employee as the company is celebrating its golden jubilee.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of a Rs.110-billion expansion and modernisation project of the Bokaro Steel Plant here.

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