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I am dissatisfied with SAIL, RINL, says Steel Minister

Beni Prasad Verma says the companies' performance could have been much better

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma today pulled up SAIL and RINL over their "unsatisfactory" performances and said the two public sector firms could have fared better if their expansion and modernisation programmes were completed on time.

"I am not satisfied with the performances of SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL). Their modernisation and expansion plans are delayed," Verma said here after reviewing the half yearly performance of RINL.

He added that both the firms could have done much better if their plans were executed on time.

Acknowledging that RINL's plan to expand its capacity from 3 million tonnes per year (MTPA) to 6.3 MTPA has got delayed due to a blast at its plant in June, he said that "still the progress is slow. Expansion is on but it should be expedited."

When asked, RINL Chairman A P Choudhary said, "We will complete it (expansion) by the end of this year. After the incident (blast), we are going little slow but most of the work is complete."

As many as 19 persons were killed in a blast on June 13 this year at RINL's Vizag plant.

On Steel Authority of India Ltd's (SAIL) performance, Verma said, "I do not agree that their plans are on right track. Their modernisation plans are very much delayed."

SAIL, whose half yearly performance is likely to be reviewed on November 1, has embarked on a massive Rs 72,000 crore expansion plan to increase its capacity to 24 MTPA. The company is hoping to complete all schemes by the first half of next year.

Verma also said that initial public offering (IPO) of RINL has been deferred "indefinitely" as offer price proposed by the investment bankers were below the book value of the Vizag-based steelmaker.

"The Book Running Lead Managers' proposed price was below the book value of RINL. So it (IPO) has been deferred indefinitely," the Steel Minister said.

He also said that RINL, which is dependent on iron ore supplies from NMDC to feed its units, has also been asked to scout for mines abroad.

According to an official statement, RINL posted growth in hot metal, liquid steel and value added steel production during April-September but it registered a "marginal shortfall in the saleable steel production" due to acute power crisis in Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall.

Besides, the steelmaker is hoping to get an iron ore mine in Rajasthan's Bhilwara, having a reserve of 320 MT, in next few days. The company is currently dependent on iron ore supplies from NMDC to feed its units and does not have any captive source.

"It (allocation of mine) is expected shortly. Most of the formalities have been completed, " the RINL Chairman said.

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First Published: Mon, October 22 2012. 17:24 IST