PM wants blueprint to speed up stalled steel projects

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth to finalise a blueprint to fast track implementation of stranded projects in the steel sector

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published: August 7, 2013 2:05 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth to finalise a blueprint to fast track implementation of stranded projects in the steel sector.

Chairing a meeting of a high-level committee on manufacturing on July 9,Singh had said the domestic industry should gear up to produce about 300 MT of steel by the next decade and 500 MT by 2050. To achieve this level of production,Seth’s office should find a way to fructify implementation of stranded mega steel projects,entailing an investment of nearly Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

At stake are projects like Posco’s proposed 12 MT project in Orissa and ArcelorMittal’s two mega projects in Jharkhand and Karnataka,entailing an investment of close to Rs 1,00,000 crore.

Accordingly,the Cabinet secretariat is preparing to soon tell Singh’s office that a dedicated investment facilitation mechanism,which has been recently set up by the government,should be employed to fast-track the delayed steel projects. In a first,Seth is also set to propose that if ultra mega steel projects were to be set up,the government should consider project-specific SPVs,which should be entrusted to assemble land,secure required clearances and tie up raw materials.

“The SPV could then be offered for takeover by investors through a bidding process,” an official who attended the meeting said.

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