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Steel Authority of India misses target for rail supply in 2017/18 for third year

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By Neha Dasgupta

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the country's largest state-owned alloy producer, failed to meet its target to supply rails for during the fiscal year for 2017/18, underscoring the problems of modernising the country's

SAIL, which swung to profits in the October to December quarter after 10 straight quarterly losses, supplied 874,000 tonnes of in 2017/18, as against the revised target of 950,000 tonnes, according to a document the company prepared for that was reviewed by

The 2017/18 target was lowered from 1.46 million tonnes, the initial aim for the last fiscal year. This is the third fiscal year in a row the company has missed its delivery target.

Railways, which is the world's fourth-largest network, had trimmed the size of its first-ever global tender by more than 30 percent after SAIL committed to meeting its target to supply rails for 2017/18 and 2018/19.

For Railways, the shortages could mean further delays in modernising its ageing tracks, which came under scrutiny after a spate of accidents last year.

Separately, Ashwani Lohani, the of Railways, told earlier this week that the ministry was yet to finalise the supplier in the rail tender, for which another firm Jindal and Power Ltd, the only domestic alternative, has pitched its services.

SAIL attributed the fall in supplies due to the shortages of a semi-finished product called rail blooms, the component which is rolled into rails.

The company said the availability of blooms would not be a constraint going forward, the document showed.

However, that may do little for SAIL, which has been at loggerheads with since last year due to constant shortages.

In September last year, had appointed a new minister to oversee a $130 billion, five-year modernisation programme and to replace some of the 92,000 km of tracks operated by

SAIL and did not immediately reply to requests from for a comment.

(Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 15:13 IST