PM to Mittal: Help build steel empire | india | Hindustan Times
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PM to Mittal: Help build steel empire

Manmohan urged the London-based steel baron to return to his homeland and help build India's steel industry.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 19:41 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said he had urged London-based steel baron Lakshmi Mittal to return to his homeland and help build the Indian steel industry.

Addressing the foundation the stone-laying ceremony for the the expansion of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) here, Manmohan Singh said while the steel consumption in the country was low it was ironic that an India-born entrepreneur was known as the steel king in the world.

Mittal Steel is the world's largest steel group by production volume. It has made a bid to takeover Luxemburg-based Arcelor that, if successful, would create the largest steel conglomerate.

Manmohan Singh called for improving the efficiency of public sector units and more investment in private sector to achieve 100 million tones steel production target by 2020.

Reacting to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy's demand for addressing the problem of raw material shortage at the VSP, the prime minister also called for rationalisation of the policy on raw materials.

YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, appealed to Manmohan Singh to approve the proposal for captive mines for the VSP in Orissa and Chhattisgarh to meet its requirement of raw materials.

He also urged Manmohan Singh not to merge the VSP with the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), another government-run steel producer, saying such a move would do great injustice to the region.

The chief minister was referring to the union steel ministry's proposal aimed at solving the shortage of raw material. The VSP employees have opposed the proposal.