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Steel Authority’s long-term plans could be delayed


Kolkata : The state-owned Steel Authority of India’s (SAIL) plans to take its capacity to 60 million tonnes a year by 2020 may get delayed, a top company official said here Wednesday.

“Our current expansion plan is on schedule but as for our long-term plan there could be some delays,” SAIL chairman and managing director S.K. Roongta said on the sidelines of the national executive committee meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

SAIL’s current plan is to take its annual capacity to 26 million tonnes within the next four years on a capital expenditure of Rs.540 billion, half of which would be raised through debt.

“We are not raising any debt in the current year. From 2009-10 onwards, we will start raising money,” he said.

Asked whether SAIL is cutting production on account of the economic downturn, Roongta said the company has started “producing as per orders”.

He said demand has been slack, which would slow down the revenue growth in the second half of the current fiscal.

“Demand and prices are down, and certainly there would be slowdown in our revenues from now on. Our revenue has grown by 35 percent in the first half and I can’t say by how much the growth rate will fall in the second half,” Roongta added.