Helping steel majors set up units top priority: Virbhadra Singh


Shimla : The priority of his ministry would be to help steel majors set up their stalled projects, Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh said here Sunday.

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“The priority of our government is to enable steel majors like Mittal Steel, Essar Steel, the Jindal group and Posco set up their units in the country,” Singh told IANS in an informal interaction at his residence.

At the same time, the minister said, efforts would be made to ensure that the expansion of state-run units to double their production was completed on time.

“SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd) and RINL (Rashtriya Ispat Niham Ltd) have major expansion plans totalling Rs.70,000 crore in three-four years. This would double their capacity.”

He said his ministry would also take measures to ensure the iron ore mined in the country is used by domestic companies.

“We will take measures so that most of the iron ore is consumed within the country rather than exporting it.”

Regarding dumping, Singh said: “The ministry is monitoring the situation, which is not so alarming. We are in constant touch with commerce ministry and appropriate steps would be taken in due course of time.”

A former five-time chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, he also help with a new steel processing unit in the state.

“I have asked SAIL officials to conduct fresh surveys so that its second processing plant in the state comes up in Sirmaur.”

SAIL’s first steel plant in Himachal Pradesh state is coming up in Kangra district.

Singh’s predecessor Ram Vilas Paswan had laid the foundation stone of the Kangra unit before the general elections.

Singh reiterated his promise to get the state industrial package extended till 2013. The current industrial package will expire in 2010.