Uncertainty looms over proposed SAIL project in JK
Parliamentary panel raps company
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Sep 2: Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has drawn flak from a Parliamentary panel for uncertainty in setting up a steel processing unit in Jammu and Kashmir and initiating a financial review of the project again.
The foundation stone for the 1 lakh tonne per annum unit at Lassipora Industrial Estate in Pulwama district was laid in Sepember 2008 by then steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who had announced Rs 150 crore investment for the unit by SAIL.
“Uncertainty looms large over setting up of another steel processing unit (SPU) in Srinagar. SAIL is stated to be wary of its viability and is not sure of getting concessions and benefit from the government of J&K and has therefore initiated a financial review of the project,” the panel said.
Rapping SAIL for the review at this stage, the Standing Committee on Coal and Steel has termed it “surprising” as to how the Maharatna firm could not assess its feasibility at the time of conception and has sought to know reasons for fresh review.
“Review by SAIL at this stage is surprising as all apprehensions and doubts would not have been ignored when this project was conceived and ultimately approved. The committee would like to be apprised of the precise reasons for undertaking fresh review,” the report said.
It said all bottlenecks in the project needs to be removed by having close coordination and consultation at appropriate level with the government of J&K.
When contacted SAIL Chairman CS Verma refused to comment on the report.
The PSU was slated to have an initial capacity of 1 lakh tonne annually and was to produce TMT bars and galvanised corrugated sheets.
The Steel Ministry has told a panel that SAIL has undertaken a fresh financial review of the project which has become uneconomical in the absence of concessions and benefits from the state government.
It said that earlier during the soil investigation it was found that the plot offered for the project has a level difference of about 17 metres from one end to another and fresh land was allotted in October 2009.
“The fresh soil investigation was to be initiated in January 2010. However, it could not be undertaken due to prevailing unrest/social environment in the region,” the Ministry argued.
It said the decision of implementation of the project now was dependent on improved market scenario, availability of various concessions and benefits from the state government.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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