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IN - Modi: India should export metals, not minerals

PM inaugurates IISCO's new plant at Burnpur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that India needed to stop exports of mineral resources and instead should export metals. Speaking at the inauguration of the 2.5 million tonne new IISCO plant at Burnpur in West Bengal, the Prime Minister said the Centre was working towards policy change so that the mineral rich eastern States returned to the higher growth path like their western counterparts.

"Among the eastern States, Bengal's role was crucial in country's progress," Modi said. A strong Bengal was the need of the hour, he said in the presence of the State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Hinting at a closer cooperation between the non-BJP ruled States and the Centre, the Prime Minister said his Government wanted to keep the country's interest above the party's interest.

The Prime Minister also said the eastern region should be the centre of the second green revolution in the country. He wished the eastern States would usher in the second green revolution in the next 5 to 10 years.

Both Modi and Mamata had the same vision of a ‘Team India’ in the journey of progress. Mamata also stressed on the need for healthy federalism and a strong Centre.

Meanwhile, Steel Authority of India Ltd Chairman CS Verma told reporters here that the West Bengal Government has registered 2,000 acres of land, in the possession of IISCO, in SAIL’s name. This had been a contentious issue and was coming in the way of SAIL’s investment plans in the State, particularly at Burnpur and Kulti. Originally, the land was registered with the earlier incarnation of IISCO as a private entity.

Verma said this would sort out all land-related issues for SAIL in West Bengal, where the company had planned a clutch of projects.

Verma declared that the second phase of expansion at the IISCO plant at Burnpur would see hot metal capacity being raised to 5.6 million tonnes in the next couple of years at a fresh investment of around Rs.17,000 crore.

“Durgapur Steel Plant would witness separate investment of about Rs. 24,000 crore. The proposed joint venture with Kobe of Japan for an iron nugget plant within the DSP complex would see investment of another Rs. 1,500 crore,” Verma added.

He said the equal joint venture project with Kobe was currently revising the detailed project report for incorporating certain technical improvements.

Implementation of another joint venture with RITES for building wagons, proposed to be set up at Kulti, would also get a fillip after the settlement of the land registration issue.

Source: TheHinduBusinessline.com

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