Kolkata: The government appears to have put on hold the merger of Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) with Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), with Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan saying on 19 September there is no such proposal now.
“Central government wanted the merger of SAIL and RINL, but there was resistance from the Andhra Pradesh government and political parties,” Paswan added.
However, the merger of Neelachal Ispat, Maharastra Electrosmelt Ltd and Bharat Refractories Ltd with SAIL was at an advanced stage, he said. Paswan’s comments came days after SAIL Chairman S K Roongta made a renewed pitch for the merger of RINL and SAIL.
“As far as SAIL is concerned, we are for the merger as there are lot of synergies between the two companies,” he said here last week. Roongta had also said that the government, which was the owner of both the companies, would have to take a call on it.
On the dispute over renewing the lease of Chiria iron ore mine to SAIL, Paswan said Chiria had a reserve of three billion tonnes and according to the formula devised by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), lease for one billion tonne would be renewed. An MoU would be signed for another one billion tonne with the company which has proposed to set up a greenfield plant in Jharkhand.
Stating that he had a talk with Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the Steel minister said there would be no raw material shortage for SAIL.