Demand growth for steel to cross 10 percent soon: Steel Secretary

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New Delhi, Aug 25(ANI): Steel Secretary P R Rastogi on Tuesday said that the growth in steel demand in the country would soon cross 10 percent, as soon as the effects of global economic slowdown would be over.

Rastogi said this while addressing the third meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Steel in the national capital.

He informed that the consumption grew by 8.9 percent in July and production grew by 5.9 percent and during April to July 2009, production grew by 3.8 percent while consumption grew by 5.8 percent.

Emphasizing the need for raw material security, Rastogi said: "Government has so far allocated 12 coking coal and 51 non-coking coal blocks, thereby ensuring 2700 million tonnes and 7000 million tonnes of non-coking coal for captive use by the steel industry."

He urged the industry to expedite the opening of coal reserves concurrent with commissioning of their steel production unit.

"The Union Cabinet has recently approved the rehabilitation programme of Jharia coal fields, where nearly 12 billion tonnes of coking coal reserve is available," Rastogi said

Rastogi also urged steel producers to give their feedback on the draft of National Mineral Policy circulated by the Ministry of Mines and said that the priority allocation of mines for the steel producers and value adders should remain an important criterion in the new Act. (ANI)

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