In a PSU news update, the Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar took stock of the yearly performance of three PSUs under the Ministry of Steel for FY 2014-15, namely Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), MSTC Limited and Ferro Scrap Nigam Limited (FSNL), at Udhyog Bhawan In New Delhi. Exhorting CMDs and Directors of these companies to improve their performance, Shri Tomar said, “The PSUs of this country uphold our national pride. You are not only expected, but obligated, to perform to your very best and give maximum returns to the national exchequer.” The Minister was accompanied by Secretary (Steel) Shri Rakesh Singh and other senior officials of the Ministry of Steel in the review meetings.
While reviewing the performance of steel major SAIL, Shri Tomar expressed concern regarding the integrated operationalisation of upstream and downstream production facilities in a time-bound and synchronised manner. Asserting that “capacity without production is meaningless,” Shri Tomar emphasised that pending issues in SAIL’s modernisation and expansion plan should be resolved at the earliest. The Minister urged Directors and CEOs of SAIL to start production of finished goods from its modernised mills at the earliest. “For profits to be higher, it is pertinent that techno-economics of production are internationally benchmarked, and the latter can’t happen till the capitalisation of all your production units are balanced,” added Shri Tomar. Director (Technical) SAIL, Shri SS Mohanty assured the Minister that the company will put in its best to complete commissioning at the earliest. Shri Mohanty informed that SAIL achieved record production of Hot Metal of 15.4 MT of Hot Metal, as against 14.45 MT in corresponding period last year. Apprised of the pressure put on Net Sales Realisation (NSR) on account of depressed steel prices, the Minister advised SAIL management to increase their share of value added steels, such as production of auto-grade steel. Shri Tomar also expressed concern over the rising borrowing of the company to fund its expansion plan, and appreciated company’s effort in launching a cost awareness initiative across all its plants and units.
Noting that capacity augmentation will lead to enhanced use of raw materials, Shri Tomar directed SAIL management to pay adequate attention to commensurate expansion of its mines, so that the company doesn’t resort to procuring ores from outside market to feed growing production. Shri Tomar consented to take up environmental and forest clearance issues with relevant ministries to help de-bottleneck the raw material security plan for SAIL’s current and future plans. Comparing SAIL’s performance with its peers, with respect to its decreasing sales turnover, Shri Tomar asked the company to spruce up its competitiveness. Citing the falling market share of SAIL, from 18.8% in 2009-10 to about 14% in 2014-15, Shri Tomar advised the functional directors and CEOs to ensure better marketing of its enhanced production.
MSTC, the only PSU to offer e-commerce facility, updated the Minister on its recent success in conducting e-auction of coal. Shri Tomar asked CMD of MSTC Limited, Shri SK Tripathi, to approach states to help carry out the e-auction of metallic and non-metallic minerals. Shri Tripathi expressed his eagerness to facilitate the process, and sought government’s help in convincing other PSUs to utilise the e-commerce platform of MSTC to carry out their trading and procurement activities. MSTC also proposed formation of a joint venture between itself and FSNL, for establishing a ship-breaking yard using the expertise of latter in ship-breaking, and that of former in sale of scrap. Besides, the company also expressed interest in sale of thermal coal, forest, agricultural and rural produce, defence procurement and auto shredding. The total volume of business transacted by MSTC portal increased from 26883 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 29924 crore in 2014-15. In its review presentation, FSNL showed interest in exploring business potential in removing overburden at mines, and recovering non-ferrous metallics from slag.
Taking note of the construction of toilets by PSUs under the Swachch Vidyalaya Abhiyaan, Shri Tomar expressed concern over the slow pace of progress, and directed the PSUs to complete the assignment by end of June, 2015.