‘Odisha will be a hub of steel production’
Briefing mediapersons on his maiden visit to Rourkela on Monday evening, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh said India has a target to produce 300 MT of steel, one-third of which would be from Odisha.
Odisha has raw materials and other potentials to produce 100 MT of steel, he said, adding that on Tuesday he would visit Kalinga Nagar to study the steel manufacturing facilities there and then he would talk to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Singh said four years ago, India’s position was fourth in steel production next to China, Japan and the USA. Two years back, India was in the third position beating the USA. And two months back, India’s position wente up to second beating Japan.
He said that at present, the Rourkela Steel Plant’s (RSP) capacity is 4.2 MT which would jump to 8.2 MT by 2025.
Singh informed that four years back, the steel consumption per head in India was 58 kg; and now, it is 65 kg. It would be 107 kg by 2030. As much as 40% of steel import has come down due to the strict implementation of Anti-Dumping Duty which would encourage the steel producing units of the country.
A National Steel Policy has been formulated by which indigenous steel would be used in almost all projects.
He said that in last four years India’s steel industry has improved. Among all NPAs of banks, the steel sector NPAs were 28%.
On the dilapidated condition of the Ispat General Hospital (IGH) in Rourkela, the Minister assured that all the steps would be taken soon to improve the services in the hospital.
The foundation-stone for a super specialty department in Burn Centre & Plastic Surgery has now been laid by him; and very soon, facilities are to be ensured for the cardiology department.
Besides, very shortly, 100 doctors would be posted in the IGH with lucrative financial benefits.
If required, retired doctors would be posted in the hospital, he said.
Regarding wage revision of non-xecutive employees of the SAI, Singh said that within a month a committee would take a decision in this regard. The duration of the last wage revision has ended since December 32, 2016.
Earlier, the minister dedicated the rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ of SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to the nation. Notably, the Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ is the first one of SAIL that was dedicated to the nation on February 3, 1959 by the then President Dr Rajendra Prasad.
The blast furnace had been shut down on August 6, 2013 for total rebuilding. Although erected on the old foundation, the rebuilt furnace laced with superior technology has a higher production capacity. With its rebuilding, the annual production capacity of the furnace would increase from 0.438 MT to 1.015 MT. Singh was accompanied by Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram.
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