Heavy achievements in steel sector in UPA regime: Paswan

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New Delhi, May 23 (UNI)India's Steel production capacity by the year 2012 will be nearly 124 million tonnes and the country is expected to become the second largest steel producing nation in the world by 2015, Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

An investment in the steel sector is expected to be Rs 2,76,880 crore by 2012 with capacity likely to touch at 290 million tonnes by 2020, the Minister said at a press conference here.

India attained the position of the 5th largest crude steel producing country in the world in 2006, as per the yearly benchmarking surveys conducted by the International Iron&Steel Institute (IISI), an improvement over India's international ranking of 8th position in 2003.

India retained its position as the world's largest producer of sponge iron.

Crude steel production grew at more than 10 per cent annually from 34.71 million tonnes in 2002-03 to 53.90 million tonnes in 2007-08.

Production of finished steel stood at 55.27 million tonnes during 2007-08 as against 40.71 million tonnes in 2003-04.

Sponge iron grew at a CAGR of 22 per cent to reach a level of 18.35 million tonnes in 2006-07 compared to 7.68 million tonnes in 2002-03.

Improved capacity utilization of public sector steel plants grew from 86 per cent in 2002-03 to 91 per cent in 2007-08.

Domestic and foreign investors have shown a great deal of interest in setting up steel capacities in the country. One hundred ninety three MoUs have been signed in various states with total planned capacity of around 243 million tonnes and a total proposed investment of over Rs 5.14 lakh crore. Major investment plans are in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

The likely capacity achievable by 2019-20 will be over 290 million tonnes. Going by estimate of Rs 4,000 crores investment per million tonne of additional capacity, the sector is likely to see investment of Rs 2,76,880 crore by 2012 and Rs 8,70,640 crores by 2020.

The consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of PSUs under Ministry of Steel has increased nearly four times from Rs 5,298 crore in 2003-04 to Rs. 20,624 crore in 2007-08.

Combined contribution of Steel Ministry PSU's and companies to the Central and State Government Exchequers has gone up by 237 per cent from Rs 5,829 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 19,649 crore in 2007-08.

SAIL has become virtually debt free reducing its borrowings have reduced from Rs 8,690 crore to Rs 3,045 crores and wealth of more than Rs 76,536 crores has been created by the company.

RINL also became a debt free company. MECON became a net profit making company in 2004-05 from a loss making situation in 2003-04.

NMDC, second PSU under the Ministry of Steel to be accorded the Navratna status in January 2008 is also one of the top ten companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange by Market Capitalization.

MOIL became a Rs 1000 crore company and MSTC, a zero-debt company became a Miniratna in 2005-06 schedule B company in 2007-08.

The Ministry of Steel had proposed for a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that would be promoted jointly by several public sector companies to acquire coal mines and assets abroad. The SPV would involve the participation of SAIL, RINL, NMDC, NTPC and Coal India Ltd.

A decision was taken to have at least one dealer in each district in order to make available steel items to common man. SAIL and RINL are expanding their distribution networks at a fast pace.

UNI JSS SR BST1805

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