SteelMin seeks time-bound progress report on SAIL expansion

SteelMin seeks time-bound progress report on SAIL expansion New Delhi: Concerned over delay in completion of SAIL's Rs 70,000-crore expansion project, Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday asked the PSU to submit a time-bound report for execution of the mega programme.

According to sources, Singh today held a meeting of the top brass of the country's largest steel maker and reviewed the current status of the expansion project.

"The Steel Minister has asked SAIL to prepare and submit a time-bound report on the project," they added.

SAIL Chairman S K Roongta did not respond to repeated calls.

The global recession and the resultant demand slump have delayed SAIL's ambitious expansion plan to December 2012 from earlier plans of 2011-12 fiscal. During the the last fiscal, the company had even aimed to complete the project by 2010-11.

SAIL has now set the target of completing the mega project--aimed at augmenting its annual production capacity to 23.46 million tonne (MT) from the present 14.6 MT per annum-- to 2012-13.

The minister had recently informed Rajya Sabha that "expansion plan of SAIL envisages increasing hot metal production from 14.6 million tonne per annum to 23.46 MT in Phase-I, will be completed by 2012-13."

Due to the lingering recession, the PSU was in July forced to revise downward its planned production capacity from 26.18 MT to the current target of 23.46 MT.