Steel Min to seek extension for RINL meeting Navratna criteria

Steel Min to seek extension for RINL meeting Navratna criteria New Delhi: The Steel Ministry Thursday said it will seek more time for Rashtriya Ispat Nigam to meet the criteria to retain its status of a Navratna company.

The company is facing the prospect of losing the coveted status due to non-listing on the bourses in the last two years. On October 9, the government had indefinitely deferred its proposed initial public offer (IPO) due to differences with the merchant bankers on the price band.

"Yes, we will," Steel Secretary D R S Chaudhary said when asked whether the Ministry would seek extension for RINL meeting the Navratna criteria.

He also said the issue will be raised with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on November 18.

"We will take up this matter with DPE who are holding a meeting on 18th of this month. They have to take up a view, not us," Chaudhary said.

RINL was awarded the Navratna status on November 16, 2010 with the condition that it would get listed on the stock markets within two years. However, there is no sign of company's IPO, deferred thrice since July, hitting the markets in immediate future.

"It (RINL) will be listed when the time is right in terms of the valuation. When that will happen, I can not answer Thursday," the Steel Secretary said.

In case of RINL losing the Navratna status, company's financial autonomy will also get impacted as the coveted tag empowers the Board of a central PSU to take investment decisions up to Rs 1,000 crore in a joint venture project or wholly-owned subsidiary.

The Vizag-based company is the second largest state-owned steel maker in the country after SAIL, with a production capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

In 2011-12, the company had clocked its best-ever annual turnover at Rs 14,457 crore. Besides, it is also in the final stages of increasing its capacity to 6.3 MTPA.

The Navratna status, a prestigious tag among central PSUs,
is given to those firms who score a composite score of 60 or above out of 100 based on its performance during the last three years on six identified parameters.

The parameters include net profit to net worth, earnings per share, manpower cost to cost of production or services and gross profit out of turnover.

PTI