Steel in­dus­try owes over Rs 3 lakh crore to banks: min­is­ter

RBI, BANKS WORK­ING ON RE­STRUC­TUR­ING THE LOANS; CON­CERN OVER RIS­ING STEEL IM­PORTS

Resource Digest - - CONTENT -

The steel sec­tor is the one of the largest con­trib­u­tors to ris­ing non-per­form­ing as­sets (NPAS) or bad loans with banks, ac­count­ing for Rs. 3,13,411 crore as out­stand­ing ad­vance, out of around Rs. 5 lakh crore to­tal NPAS, the gov­ern­ment said. Giv­ing this in­for­ma­tion dur­ing Ques­tion Hour in the Lok Sabha. Steel Min­is­ter Chaud­hary Biren­der Singh said ef­forts were on by banks and the Re­serve Bank of In­dia to re­struc­ture the loans given to the steel in­dus­try so that they can be re­cov­ered.

PSU LOSSES

Singh, who was re­ply­ing to a ques­tion by G Hari (AIADMK) and a sup­ple­men­tary by Jy­oti­ra­ditya Scin­dia (Congress), ad­mit­ted that pub­lic sec­tor steel units had faced heavy losses due to the global de­cline in steel prices.

Hari said cheap steel im­ports to In­dia from coun­tries such as China, South Korea, Ja­pan and Rus­sia had surged 70 per cent, while ex­ports had de­clined by 8.1 per cent, ask­ing the Cen­tre what it was do­ing to pro­tect do­mes­tic in­dus­try.

Scin­dia flayed the gov­ern­ment for want­ing to broaden the CEPA, adding that the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (CEPA) with South Korea and Ja­pan should in­stead be re­viewed to re­strict steel im­ports to avoid dump­ing in In­dia.

CHINA SUP­PLIES

The Min­is­ter said China had pro­duced 25-30 per cent more steel than re­quired for its do­mes­tic re­quire­ments, adding that prices had de­clined fur­ther as Chi­nese steel made its way into the In­dian mar­ket.

“Global steel price con­tin­ues to be low, which is a mat­ter of con­cern,” he said, adding that to check the sit­u­a­tion, the gov­ern­ment had im­posed Min­i­mum Im­port Price for steel with ef­fect from Fe­bru­ary.

EPF ACT TO BE AMENDED

The Cen­tre is plan­ning to amend the Employees’ Prov­i­dent Fund Act to re­duce the num­ber of work­ers to 10 in a firm so that they can be brought un­der re­tire­ment fund body EPFO, the Lok Sabha was in­formed.

At present, it is manda­tory un­der the Act for firms hav­ing 20 or more work­ers to sub­scribe to so­cial se­cu­rity schemes run by the Employees’ Prov­i­dent Fund Or­gan­i­sa­tion (EPFO).

On an­other ques­tion if the gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing hik­ing the limit of salary to Rs 15,000 a month for manda­tory em­ployer con­tri­bu­tion for EPF, the Min­is­ter said: “We are very ac­tively con­sid­er­ing en­hanc­ing to Rs 15,000/month. We are pre­par­ing some guide­lines and fram­ing up some schemes.”

The Min­is­ter said China had pro­duced 25-30 per cent more steel than re­quired for its do­mes­tic re­quire­ments, adding that prices had de­clined fur­ther as Chi­nese steel made its way into the In­dian mar­ket.

CHAUD­HARY BIREN­DER SINGH, STEEL MIN­IS­TER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.