Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra on Tuesday held a meeting with Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar, Steel Secretary Rakesh Singh, Odisha Chief Secretary G C Pati and Posco India CMD Gee Woong Sung on the steps that can be taken to save the project, sources said.
"The AFISCO project has been put in cold storage. There are several issues. First, it is about the security of the personnel in that country. Then there is a question of economic feasibility as it is difficult to operate there due to a continuous conflict hurting the basic infrastructure," the source said.
Senior IAS officer Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as the Establishment Officer and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Personnel as part of a senior level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the government on Monday.
The Mines and Steel Ministry has sought import duty hike on finished steel products to 10 percent, besides complete withdrawal of the levy on imports of steel-making inputs such as iron ore and coking coal in the coming Budget.
Steel Ministry Tuesday directed PSU iron ore miner NMDC to advance its 100 mtpa production target by four years to 2020-21 to ensure the raw material for the domestic steel industry at reasonable prices.
India's steel consumption grew by a moderate 1.3 percent to 48.62 million tonnes during the April-November period of current fiscal on lingering effect of the economic slowdown and slow growth in production.
Finance Ministry will take a call on withdrawing import duty of iron ore in the face of falling domestic supplies that is forcing steel makers to buy the raw material from overseas market, a Steel Ministry official said.