Virbhadra Singh assumes charge of Steel Ministry

May 29th, 2009 - 6:37 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 29 (ANI): Minister for Steel Virbhadra Singh assumed charge here on Friday.

He was welcomed by Steel Secretary P.K.Rastogi and other senior officers.

Talking to reporters after taking charge, he said that one of his key priorities would be to ensure that the expansion programmes of the public sector giants the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) is completed in time in a cost effective fashion.

“While the capacity of SAIL will go up to 26 million tons that of RINL will go up to six million tons after the expansion. Both the expansion programmes will involve an expenditure of over Rs.70, 000 crore,” he said.

He added that steel sector in India and China have recorded positive growth during the first quarter of this calendar year while the global steel production has contracted by 23 per cent during the same period.

“Another focus area will be to bring in a rational, seamless and transparent regime for allocation of raw material resources to existing and prospective steel producers,” he said.He further said, the Ministry of Mines would be requested to undertake consequential amendments to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 to bring amendments to force.

“There is a need to restructure some of the smaller steel PSUs and for attempting mergers to capture the benefits of improved synergies. The companies under restructuring/merger mode include the Bird group of companies, the HSCL, the BRL and the SIIL,” he said (ANI)

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