Financial Times : India pushes to turn miners into global players
Source: Financial Times,
Published on: May 20, 2010
Author : James Lamont
“Go forth and acquire” is the message
What lies behind the latest clarion call is coking coal. Sourced from
Virbhadra Singh, the steel minister, worries that
“[Indian companies] woke up later to the harsh reality that supply of coking coal could take such a dimension. It is time for the Indian steel and mining companies, whether in the public or private sector, to look for opportunities overseas more seriously,” he told an industry forum this week.
Indian companies are, however, never short of ambition. The Steel Authority of India, the country’s largest steel producer, has declared it is looking for coking coal assets in
In a short term, the government has pulled a protectionist lever. Alongside the appeal to global expansion, the government is tightening its hold on domestic sources of iron ore to feed local mills. It has already increased export duty on lump ore by 15 per cent and is now considering “definitive deterrence” measures to prevent export from the world’s fourth largest producer of iron ore.
“It will increase the capacity in the public sector, which will be almost double (of present),”he said.
Singh said that the government is concerned about the Arcelor Mittal and Posco projects, which have been stuck for over five years now. “The Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) has shown his personal keenness,” he said, adding that his ministry has taken up the issue with the state governments concerned.
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