Union steel ministry has slammed Mayawati-led Uttar Pradesh for non-cooperation in granting iron ore mining lease in Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand region.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) had applied for securing the mining lease, but the clearance for the same is still pending with the state government.
“If the lease is granted, a steel plant would be set up in the region. This would not only provide employment to 10,000 people, but even lead to greater economic development in the region,” Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma said addressing the media here after a steel dealers’ meet.
Of late, the steel ministry has speeded up efforts to increase steel consumption in rural areas by ramping up the network of rural dealerships of RINL and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
For instance, SAIL had 40 dealerships in 2006, which has increased to 332 at present, including 80 odd dealerships in rural areas.
“Rural markets will provide the next big leap to steel demand in India and dealers at district and block levels will be catalysts in this chain,” he added.
The ministry has also accelerated setting up of steel processing units (SPU) across India to convert semi-finished products like billets into finished products like TMT bars in states where natural resources to set up an integrated steel plants are not available.
Verma appreciated SAIL’s efforts at setting up SPUs at Hardoi, Jhansi, Mirzapur, Gonda, Barabanki and Lakhimpur Kheri in UP and other states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir. SAIL is also reviving the erstwhile Malvika Steel at Jagdishpur.