Steel production in the country is expected to rise to 60 million tonnes in the current financial year (April-March 2009-10), up from 56.39 million tonnes in the previous year, and further to 124 million tonnes by fiscal 2011-12, minister of steel Virbhadra Singh said today.
"This year, production would be more than 60 million tonnes, up from 56 million tonnes last year," the minister said at a press briefing on the sidelines of the `Metals Minerals Manufacturing Expo 2009.'
He said growth in domestic demand surpassed production growth following a pick-up in sectors like infrastructure and automobiles.
Spurred by increasing consumption in sectors such as infrastructure, housing, automobiles and appliances, steel demand in India rose by an average 7 per cent so far this fiscal, the minister said. Demand for some steel products rose as much as 9 per cent in the same period, he added.
"In the last six months, demand for steel in India has grown at around 7 to 9 per cent," he said, adding that steel production grew 4-5 per cent in the first seven months.
He said divestment plans for state-run iron ore producer NMDC Ltd and steel major Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will be moved to the cabinet by December.
The government is also moving ahead with the merger of the Orissa government-owned iron ore producer Orissa Mineral Development Corporation with the Visakhapatnam-based steel maker Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, he said, adding that the merger would be completed in two months, steel secretary Atul Chaturvedi said at the press conference.
"The proposal is currently with the Company Law Board and we expect to push it in two months," he said.