New steel policy in next quarter: Steel secretary

The steel ministry is finally going to unveil its new steel policy in the next quarter around January-March 2013.

Asked when the long-pending steel policy steel was likely to be in place, steel secretary DRS Chaudhary told FE that it will be "hopefully ready by the next quarter".

Chaudhary, who said the contents of the new policy could not be revealed as the document had not yet been made public and also not been finalized, said the focus would be on growth of the domestic industry.

As to how without the passage of two key bills the proposed Land Acquisition & Rehabilitation Bill and the Mines & Mineral (Regulation & Development) Bill could greenfield steel plants come up in the country, the steel secretary said, "They are not impacting as there is already a law for land acquisition in the country that has not been repealed or struck down by the court; it (the old law) will continue till the new law is in place".

However, steel minister Beni Prasad Verma said only the passage of the proposed land Bill would pave the way for greenfield steel projects in the country as the new bill would ensure suitable monetary compensation for those willing to part with their land. The steel secretary said there was no resource crunch for the domestic steel sector today because of the ongoing CBI probe into allocation of coal blocks or because of mining restrictions in Karnataka.

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