Bhubaneswar: All the works concerning the South Korean steel giant Posco's 12-million-tonne project near Paradip and Mittal's 12-million-tonne project work at Patna tehsil in Keonjar district should be expedited, said Mines, Chemical and Fertiliser Minister Ram Vilas Paswan here on Sunday.
Works of all other projects who have entered into MoUs with the State Government to produce steel should also be expedited, he said. It may be noted that though the State Government and Posco officials have announced to lay foundation stone for the project at Paradip on April 1, it still looks a difficult one. However, the survey works for the Posco project have already been completed.
Addressing a Press conference here before leaving for Delhi, Paswan said the steel industry has made phenomenal growth in the country. "Despite all these things, we have been able to produce 13 per cent of the total requirement," he said, adding that the country has made a target to produce 124 million tonne of steel by 2012. By 2020, the requirement of steel would touch 300 million tonne as per the estimate. But by that time, the country could be able to produce 220 million tonne of steel and there was a shortage of another 80 million tonne of steel, he said.
"Keeping the needs of the country, we must make strategy to meet the growing requirements of steel," he said, adding that the Orissa Government has made some progress in this regards and signed a few MOUs.
Mounting a scathing attack on the State Government, Paswan said only signing of MoUs with the steel companies would not materialise the things. Some ground level works have to be done to translate it into a reality, he said.
Supporting the value-based industries, Paswan said those who have come forward to set up their plants in the State should be given priority in the allotment of mines.
He further said his Ministry opposed the export of iron ore. "The country should make a reserve of iron ore for at least 40 years. The export should of iron ores should be stopped," he said.
Expressing concern over the price rise of the steel products, Paswan said his Ministry has already asked the companies to regulate the price and check it. "If they would fail to make any steps in this regard, the Government would intervene. It would also withdraw the five per cent tax imposed on the import of steel products. More foreign companies would be able to bring more steel products to the country and make the market more competitive," he said.Unveiling the plans for the expansion of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), he said Rs 9, 500 crore would be invested for the expansion of RSP in a time bound manner.
Earlier, he announced to donate Rs 50 lakh for the renovation of the Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Museum at Cuttack. He further said that he would bring to the notice of the Prime Minister about the dilapidated condition of the museum. He also announced that Lok Janshakti would file candidates in all the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.