India eyes second steel maker slot; SAIL to invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore

9 June 2015

State-owned SAIL is investing Rs 1.5 lakh crore to raise production to 50 MTPA by 2025 as the country strives to become the second largest steel producer in the world within next five years, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today.

The government is also making efforts to "infuse life" into the country's mining sector that has been left behind other countries due to under exploration, said the Minister for Steel and Mines.

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) dedicated to the steel industry in being worked upon, Tomar said at a press conference here.

"In the first phase, we plan to establish steel plants through the SPV route in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Karnataka," he said.

SAIL's steel plants are being expanded from a capacity of 13 million tonnes per annum to 23 MTPA, at an investment of Rs 61,000 crore. The long term plan is to take SAIL's capacity up to 50 MTPA by 2025, at an estimated investment of Rs 1,50,000 crore, he said.

Tomar added: "As per World Steel Association figures for the period January-April 2015, India has become the third largest steel producer in the world leaving behind the US. Our target is to reach second position in the by 2020."

The minister further said, "Despite being a mineral rich country, India has not been able to register its mining presence on a global scale. In contrast, geologically similar countries such as Australia and Canada have left India far behind in the mining sector. The major reason for this backwardness is under exploration."

He added that efforts are on to infuse life into the mining sector of the country by amending the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Amendment Act 2015.

"By amending the Act, we have introduced auction as the only way to grant mining concessions, which is bound to bring transparency, fair play and clarity in the concession process. This will boost investor confidence and incentivise investment in this sector," he said.