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Steel Minister for tapping rural customers

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 4 (UNI) Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today called upon domestic steel players to pay more attention towards increasing their presence in the rural market.

Inaugurating the two-day international conference on Leveraging Information Technology for Global Competitive Advantage here, Mr Paswan said the domestic consumption of steel is just 30 Kg per person per year against that of 180 Kg in the neighbouring China and 350 Kg that of the advanced countries in the world.

''For increasing the steel production and to enable the domestic steel industry becomes globally competitive it is pertinant to have higher domestic consuption,'' Mr Paswan added.

He said the Government on its part for improving the steel technology has set up a Steel Research Development Mission (SRDM) with a seed capital of Rs 50 crore.

He said it was possible to achieve higher efficiencies in manufacturing process, inventory control and supply chain management with greater use of Information Technology.

The Minister revealed that his Ministry has taken up several initiatives in the use of IT. These initiatives are aimed at providing the Indian Steel industry the much needed inputs to maintain their competitive edge.

Mr Paswan said the Ministry is working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide technical inputs to the small scale rolling mills.

The Steel Minister disclosed that public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has taken up a huge investment plan of Rs 35,000 crore spread over a period of five years to enhance the company's production from its present level of 14 Million Tonnes per year to 22 Million Tonnes by the year 2012 and another Rs 8,000 crore in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) towards doubling its capacity by the same time.

The Minister said the industry will have to make all efforts to ensure that planned targets are reached.

The meeting was attended among others by Minister of State for Planning and IT Rajshekharan, SAIL Chairman VS Jain and MP and Industrialist Navin Jindal.


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