November 12, 2008

WB govt to support ailing steel and sponge iron units

KOLKATA,12 November,2008: The West Bengal government said on Wednesday that it would support, within its ability, ailing steel and sponge iron units facing closure in the state. “I have proposed to meet the sector to understand the situation collectively and not individually. If in some way, the government can help within its abilities, it will do so,” said the Principal Secretary of Commerce and Industries, Mr Sabyasachi Sen, said here.

Mr Sen, was speaking to reporters while announcing a B2B (business to business) exhibition cum conference, 'Biz Bridge - Resurgence East', to be held here. Admitting that the government was aware of the recent developments in the steel sector, Mr Sen, h owever, said that it would consult with industry bodies - CII and FICCI - to ascertain the number of such units facing closure.

Industry players said that units facing problems were not integrated players and mainly small ones. Following the global meltdown and subsequent lull, the steel industry is in the dock which has prompted production cuts even by majors like JSW Steel, Ess ar Steel and Ispat Industries.
Steel Secretary Mr P K Rastogi had said yesterday that public sector major SAIL may also cut production as the demand for the commodity dipped. Admitting that the steel industry was in the grip of a crisis, Mr Ramswarup Group Chairman and Managing Direct or Mr Ashish Jhunjhunwala said that CII has already urged the state government to support the industry. “However, this is a temporary blip and the steel industry is not going to die,” Mr Jhunjhunwala said. - PTI

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