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Steel Ministry spots 2 PSUs for sell-off

Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 16:11

New Delhi: Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday said the Steel ministry has identified two PSUs for disinvestment and is in the process of looking for more, after which it will approach the cabinet this month.

"We have identified two steel PSU`s for disinvestment. We will be going to cabinet within this month," Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of Converging India Leadership Summit.

Singh added that the ministry is in the process of finding more PSU`s for disinvestment. "A couple more are in the pipeline for selling govt stake", he added.
Singh said the ministry is looking to raise about Rs 15,000 crore from the process of disinvestment.

Meanwhile, the Steel Ministry has already sent its proposal to sell 10 per cent of its stake in Manganese Ore (India) Limited to the Ministry of Finance.

Steel Secretary P K Rastogi had said on August 4 that the ministry had approved the sale of 8.38 percent of its stake in iron ore producer NMDC and would take the proposal in a day or two to the Finance Ministry.

When asked if the government will come out with the policy to ban or disincentivise iron ore exports, he said the government is thinking on these lines and may come out with the policy in a year`s time.

He favoured value addition of domestic iron ore by public and private sector steel companies and called for the export of value added products like pellets, instead exporting raw material.
Moreover, when asked about the imposition of safeguard duty to discourage import of cheaper steel goods, Singh said the present situation does not warrant such a levy.

Further, he added that he was the minister of both `public and private sector steel companies` and would be talking to the state governments to expedite the process of allotment of iron ore mines and address problems faced by both of them in acquiring land.

Speaking on the occasion, IFCI CEO and MD Atul Kumar Rai said the matter of export and import of iron ore should be best left to the market.

SAIL Chairman SK Roongta added that the biggest challenge faced by his company is that of raw material security in the backdrop of dismal support from the present infrastructure.

India`s present annual steel production stands at 55 million tonnes and is being enhanced to 124 million tonnes by 2011-12.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 16:11
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