To treble capacity to 300 mn tonnes, provide global heft, Steel Ministry to hire expert
Keen on making domestic steel industry globally more competitive and actualising the ambitious target of nearly trebling capacity to 300 million tonne, steel minister Birender Singh will appoint an expert with the mandate to lay the road map for the sector’s development. The expert will possess exceptional domain knowledge and will be inducted either on fulltime or part-time-basis, Singh said. He/she would also advise the ministry on how to improve efficiency of the sector to bring it at par with the global leaders, he said.
Jindal Steel and Power’s chairman Naveen Jindal said, “It is always good to have a counsel of people having sound knowledge.” Highlighting the need for such a person who can deliver in the present scenario and speed up things for the ministry, the minister said he was in talks with a potential candidate for over two months now, but that person backed out citing “overseas assignment”. However, he added that he still has a list of half a dozen names to consider and choose one from them. “I don’t know how to designate the person — as an advisor, consultant or something else. The person would be appointed as soon as we get one,” Singh said.
Other industry officials said the minister might face such “hurdles” to get a suitable candidate in the coming days also as none would like to take on the bureaucracy, who decides on the policy matter and “virtually” runs the state-run firms even as they don’t have sufficient domain knowledge. However, they added if one is eventually appointed, he/she must have experience in working in Indian environment and be given a free hand to frame policies that are conducive to the industry. “We need policies that will facilitate us to grow further and will be helpful for us,” an industry official said.