ROURKELA: ON his maiden visit to the city, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Tuesday said Narendra Modi Government had set an exclusive target for Odisha’s Kalinga Nagar to ensure production of 100 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), one-third of country’s total steel target of 300 MTPA. According to Singh, India has become world’s second largest steel producer by producing 102 million tonnes of the metal recently.
In the past two years, India had become a net exporter of steel with a growth of 102 per cent, he added. Singh was accompanied by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Steel Secretary Aruna Shar ma and SAIL Chairman PK Singh. “The per capita consumption of steel has risen to 65 kg from 58 kg. In a bid to enhance steel consumption, the Centre has approved priority consumption of domestically manufactured steel in all Central and State Government projects,” Singh said. “The secondary steel producers contribute towards 57 per cent of country’s total steel production. About 80 per cent of secondary steel products have been brought under Bureau of Indian Standards for quality certification,” he added. About 14 per cent of the country’s total steel was being produced by SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), Singh said. The minister said the capacity of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) of SAIL would be doubled to 8.2 MTPA in future, adding that the ministry had planned to produce high-end steel from scrap metal.
“In a bid to enhance domestic steel consumption, SAIL has prepared steel prototype of low-cost residential house for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The beneficiary will have the flexibility of reselling the steel house at 40-45 per cent value,” he added. Singh claimed about 1,500 small and big bridges were coming up in the State. “Union Minister for Road Transport and National Highways Nitin Gadkari has been impressed upon to use steel bridges which will have double lifespan than concrete bridges,” he said. Singh revealed that 28 per cent of the stress loans on banks were from steel sector and in the past four years, the situation had improved significantly.
“The SAIL management has been asked to take further steps for upgradation of the RSP-run Ispat General Hospital (IGH) into Super Speciality Hospital and Medical College (SSHMC),” he added. Earlier, on Monday, Singh laid foundation for the Super Specialty block of the Burns and Plastic Surgery Department of IGH and dedicated the rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ of RSP to the nation.