Steel Minister asks SAIL to complete all expansion plans on time

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (ANI): Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday asked the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to complete all the ongoing expansion programmes on time.

He was reviewing the Q1 performance of the public sector major at a meeting here today.

He said, the economy looks set for a rebound considering the latest IIP numbers and the projections of GDP this fiscal. This will translate into decent demand growth for steel in the near future.

The Minister appreciated the difficult business environment following the slowdown and hoped the situation to improve in the next couple of quarters.

He expressed satisfaction over the performance of SAIL during the first quarter.

The steel major reported a turnover of Rs 9747 crore during April-June 09, a decrease of 20 per cent over the same quarter last year. The net profit also fell by 27.7 per cent to Rs.1326 crore.

Singh urged the SAIL to strengthen its CSR activities.

"Out of the budget of Rs. 80 crore, the company has been able to spend Rs10.83 crore during the first quarter which is a drop of 201 per cent on sequential basis and a drop of 60 per cent compared to Q1 of the previous year," he said.

The profitability was adversely affected due to reduction in average net sales realization of saleable steel, escalation in input prices mainly of imported coal, coke, ferro-silicon, increase in railway freight, increase in fuel cost surcharge by DVC and higher interest charges. (ANI)

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