New Delhi: The government said the expansion plans of public sector steel firms, SAIL and RINL, were on track and they would nearly double capacity by 2010 at a collective cost of Rs 63,000 crore.
Besides, the cumulative profit of all PSUs under the Ministry of Steel has grown by nearly four times to Rs20,624 crore and their contribution to the exchequer has also nearly trebled in the past four years, the Ministry said.
It added that the combined contribution of Steel Ministry PSUs and companies to the central and state government exchequers has gone up by 237% from Rs 5,829 crore in 2003-04 to Rs 19,649 crore in 2007-08.
The ministry said the Rs54,000 crore expansion plan of SAIL is expected to raise its capacity to 26.2 million tons per annum by 2010 from the existing 14.6 million tons. Similarly, the Rs9,000 crore expansion plan of RINL will increase its annual capacity to 6.3 million tons of liquid steel from the present 3 million tons.
Highlighting the major achievements in the steel sector during the last four years of the UPA regime in the Centre, the Ministry said India became the fifth largest steel producer in the world in 2006 as against eighth in 2003. The country continues to retain its position as the world’s largest sponge iron producer.
The ministry said the country’s crude steel production grew over 10% from 34.71 million tons in 2002-03 to 53.90 million tons in 2007-08, and production of finished steel also surged from 37.17 million tons to 55.27 million tons during this period.
“The capacity utilisation of steel plants rose from 86% in 2002-03 to 91% during the 2007-08 fiscal,” the ministry said in a public announcement.