Steel min­istry do­ing well on sales front

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Ef­forts made by the Min­istry of Steel have en­sured place­ment of or­ders for do­mes­tic iron and steel to the tune of Rs 8,129 crore in the last five months.

Min­istry of Rail­ways, ONGC, GAIL, HPCL and EIL have placed or­ders with do­mes­tic iron and steel man­u­fac­tures for var­i­ous cat­e­gories of rails, pipe and tubes. Th­ese prod­ucts were ear­lier im­ported but are now be­ing pro­cured from do­mes­tic pro­duc­ers. As a re­sult, do­mes­tic com­pa­nies got or­der worth Rs 8,129 crore from June to Oc­to­ber, said an of­fi­cial of the Min­istry of Steel.

“Dis­cus­sions are on with the Min­istry of Rail­ways to in­crease con­sump­tion of rails man­u­fac­tured in­dige­nously ei­ther through SAIL or other do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tures. Ef­forts are also be­ing made to on-board sec­tors like de­fence and pub­lic works so that use of steel prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured in In­dia grows,” the of­fi­cial said.

In or­der to give pref­er­ence to do­mes­ti­cally man­u­fac­tured iron and steel prod­ucts in gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment, the Min­istry of Steel pro­mul­gated a pol­icy, which was no­ti­fied on 8 May last year.

To en­sure that the pol­icy is im­ple­mented in let­ter and spirit, a Stand­ing Com­mit­tee un­der the min­istry, chaired by Steel Sec­re­tary, has been con­sti­tuted to over­see its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

A griev­ance com­mit­tee has also been con­sti­tuted for re­dres­sal of prob­lems which may arise while im­ple­ment­ing the pol­icy.

The Min­istry of Steel or­gan­ised a con­clave in Bhubaneswar in Oc­to­ber this year for do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers of cap­i­tal goods meant for the steel sec­tor. In this con­clave, MoUs worth Rs 39,400 crore were signed be­tween for­eign cap­i­tal goods man­u­fac­tur­ers and tech­nol­ogy providers with In­dian cap­i­tal goods man­u­fac­tur­ers and steel pro­duc­ers.

This, the min­istry hopes, will re­sult in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of cap­i­tal goods for the steel sec­tor within the coun­try in the next four years. This is a ma­jor shot in the arm for the ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive of the Cen­tre. Un­manned level-cross­ings ( UMLCs) may be­come a thing of the past on all the busy broad gauge tracks of the vast In­dian Rail­ways net­work by the end of this year. Tak­ing a les­son from the Kushi­na­gar in Go­rakh­pur dis­tict in­ci­dent in which 13 chil­dren were killed on the spot when a train hit a school van on 26 April this year, the In­dian Rail­ways de­cided to give a ma­jor push to elim­i­na­tion of UMLCs.

There were 3,479 un­manned rail­way cross­ings as on 1 April this year. In the last seven months, the rail­ways has done away with as many as 3,402 of them ow­ing to its spe­cial ef­forts. Thus, only 77 are left now, which rail­way of­fi­cials hope will be cov­ered by the next month.

A Rail­way Min­istry of­fi­cial said most of th­ese un­manned cross­ings have been elim­i­nated ei­ther by sub­ways/rail­way un­der-bridges or by man­ning them. “All un­manned level cross­ings on routes hav­ing speed more than 130 km per hour and on sub-ur­ban routes have been elim­i­nated,” he said, adding that “ef­fec­tively, 12 out of 16 rail­way zones are now com­pletely free of such cross­ings on broad gauge.”

The rail­ways had ear­lier set a dead­line of March 2020 to elim­i­nate all the UMLCs.

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