Stating that time was not ripe and market conditions were not appropriate for taking up disinvestment of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), Steel Secretary, G. Mohan Kumar on Monday said the public issue of the public sector undertaking could take some more time but refused to set a deadline.

Speaking on the sidelines of a summit on “Upscaling Energy Efficient production in Small Scale Steel Industry’’ organised by UNDP, AusAid, Steel Ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here, Mr. Kumar said RINL initial public offering (IPO) will take some time now as the present market conditions did not favour disinvestment. “This is not probably the best time now. We cannot fix any time frame as one has to look at the situation in the markets,’’ he added.

Asked whether IPO could happen before the end of current fiscal, Mr. Kumar replied: “I don't know that.’’

The government is aiming to mop up Rs. 2,500 crore through disinvestment in RINL. The IPO has been already deferred three times as originally it was supposed to hit the market last fiscal. On the issue of expansion plans of RINL, he said the expansion work was almost over. The Vizag-based company is the second largest state-owned steel maker in the country after SAIL, with a production capacity of 3.4 million tonne per annum and is in the process of expanding the capacity to 6.3 million tonne.

In reply to another question, he said state-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is likely to get a full-time Chairman soon. NMDC does not have a permanent chairman for the past two years since the retirement of Mr. Rana Som. Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) chairman, C.S. Verma is officiating as NMDC head.

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