FM reduces Steel Ministry's allocation in Budget

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his budget proposals 2008-09 today made a lower allocation towards the Steel Ministry at Rs 111.23 crore as against the revised estimate of 141.53 crore last year.

According to the Budget document, the plan outlay witnessed a decline from the previous revised estimate of Rs 66 crore to Rs 34 crore this year. The non-plan outlay, however, witnessed a marginal rise from last year's 75.53 crore to Rs 77.23 crore.

The Steel Ministry's allocation included interest subsidy to MECON Limited for loans raised from banks towards the implementation of VRS at Rs 61.62 crore. However, the amount was marginally higher in the previous year's revised estimate at Rs 61.97 crore.

This also included interest subsidy to Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited for loans raised for implementation of VRS at Rs 56.02 crore. The allocation was same in the previous year, which included provisions for secretariat expenditure of the Ministry of Steel and loans The Budget proposals provided for implementation of various capital schemes by the Public Sector Enterprises under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel, and loans would be extended to some of the financially weak enterprises.

However, most of the PSEs would meet the capital expenditure on the schemes from their internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) by way of equity investment.

The outlay for the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the first shore-based integrated steel plant set up in India, and for other ongoing schemes like --capacity expansion 9 (Phase-I) and AMR schemes and new schemes like Coke Oven battery No 4 (Phase -I and II), acquisition of iron ore and coking coal mines, pulverized coal injection, iron ore storage facilities and power evacuation system-- will be met from the internal resources of the companies.


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