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Steel PSUs to invest `15,069 crore this fiscal

Metal and mining PSUs SAIL, NMDC and RINL plan to invest Rs 15,069 crore this fiscal towards modernisation and expansion, Rs 700 crore less than the actual outlay for the last financial year, the government said on Thursday. According to the ‘broad plan’ prepared by the respective firms, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) will spend Rs 9,000 crore in current fiscal, followed by iron ore miner NMDC Rs 4,345 crore and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) Rs 1,724.17 crore.

The three firms, under the Steel Ministry, had spent Rs 15,769 crore towards modernisation and expansions in 2013-14, Budget documents showed. In 2014-15, SAIL plans to spend Rs 3,300 crore on its Bhilai Steel Plant, as part of its ongoing Rs 72,000 crore modernisation and expansion programme to take its capacity to 24 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 14 mtpa now.

The company also plans to invest Rs 2,234 crore in its Rourkela Steel Plant, Rs 1,280 crore in IISCO plant, Rs 800 crore in Durgapur plant and Rs 860 crore in the Bokaro plant among others.
Meanwhile, close to achieving the 24 mtpa capacity, SAIL has recently unveiled plans to take it to 50 mtpa by 2025 entailing another Rs 1.5 lakh crore investment.

The proposed expansion to 50 mtpa is in line with the government's vision of enhancing country's steel - making capacity to 300 mtpa by 2025-30, from around 100 mtpa now. Managanese ore producer MOIL Ltd plans Rs 192 crore investment in the current fiscal. Overall, PSUs under the steel ministry are planning to invest Rs 15,393 crore in current fiscal. Welcoming the Budget, SAIL Chairman C S Verma said, ‘Against a challenging and often conflicting set of objectives for the current fiscal, the FM has done an excellent balancing act.’

‘The renewed focus on infrastructure viz. development of smart cities, ports, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, power plants, plan for doubling pipeline grid, metro for tier-2 cities, industrial corridor, incentives for housing, and revival of SEZ etc. will go a long way to further consolidate growth and giving fillip to steel sector which has faced stagnant demand of late, he added. He further said, ‘The increase in customs duty for stainless steel will provide the requisite protection at a time when the demand has slackened. Other measures such as reduction in customs duty for steel grade limestone and dolomite, as well as ships for breaking should also help the industry.’



‘Comprehensive steps will be taken to raise coal supply’

New Delhi:  Adequate coal will be provided to power plants as extensive measures to augment domestic output and a strict mechanism to control the fuel quality are being put in place to end the impasse in the sector, the government said on Thursday.

Power plants across the country are facing fuel shortages and state-owned Coal India Ltd, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production, and NTPC have locked horns over fuel quality issue. ‘Comprehensive measures for enhancing domestic coal production are being put in place along with stringent mechanism for quality control and environmental protection, which includes supply of crushed coal and setting up of washeries,’ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget for 2014-15. The minister added that sufficient quantity of coal will be provided to power producers, thereby unlocking the dead investments.

‘The existing impasse in the coal sector will be resolved and adequate quantity of coal will be provided to power plants which are already commissioned or would be commissioned by March 2015, to unlock dead investments,’ he said. The announcement follows the Coal Ministry earlier rejecting the Power Ministry's request to  provide fuel to 9940 MW plants of companies like Essar Power, GMR and Power.
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