Paswan seeks PM's intervention for speedy implementation of projects

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) While reviewing the progress of the new mega steel projects, Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan today said he would seek a meeting with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and request him to intervene to remove some of the bottlenecks in the implementation of the projects.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Paswan said, '' The consumption of steel in the country is increasing at a faster rate than the addition in capacity and there could be a shortfall in production by 2020.'' Therefore, there is a need to remove the bottlenecks in the implementation of the projects, he said, adding that the country will produce 124 million tonnes of steel by 20011-12, exceeding its demand.

The Minister said land acquisition, extension of railway line, expansion of port facility, allocation of mines and speedy environmental clearance were among the major problems.

Some of the promoters were even prepared to fund the extension of railway track for timely completion of the projects and the amount could be debited from the freight later, Mr Paswan said.

He added that land acquisition and allocation of mines were two critical areas and depends upon the state governments concerned.

He expressed satisfaction on the announcements made in the general budget 2008-09 for the steel sector.

''The manufacturers have assured me that steel prices will comedown by about Rs 500 per tonne following a two per cent reduction in the CENVAT,'' he added.

UNI SR BDP DB2153

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