Steel minister Vir Bhadra Singh has called for expediting implementation of steel projects as the country has set a target of producing 124 million tonnes of steel by 2011-12.

“We have to expedite implementation of steel projects.

Problems on raw materials and infrastructure should be resolved,” he said.

Altogether 33 million tonnes of new capacity would come up by 2012 in the brownfield sector, he told at a seminar on Vision on Indian steel Industry, 2012 here last evening.

He said progress in this area was satisfactory and state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd would add 13 million tonne in production in five integrated steel plants of which two were in West Bengal.

Similarly, another PSU Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd was at an advanced stage of increasing the capacity to 6.3 million tonne from the present 2.9 mt, while private players like Tatas and JSW have added capacity of 5 mt.

Many private companies have signed MoUs for setting up steel projects with various state governments, he said.

The minister said there was some delay in implementing large steel project due to problem in land acquisition.

Describing land as a sensitive issue, Singh said it involved rehabilitation and resettlement which the industry must keep in mind.

He said demand growth of steel in the country had touched 13 per cent in 2007-08 supported by construction, infrastructure, real estates and housing sectors.

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