The Government of India has approved extension of the ‘Navratna’ status of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant would be extended till November 2013.

The company was accorded the status on November 16, 2010 with the condition that it would be listed on the stock markets within two years. However, due to poor market conditions, the company deferred its initial public offering (IPO) and was on the verge of losing its status. The announcement by the Government gives it a breather.

The Government considered RINL’s performance on all fronts including investment in expansion and modernisation of plant while extending the “Navratna” status, according to a statement issued here on Friday. Sales of long steel products have shown strong signs of picking up, and are expected to register sharp improvement considering the dry season and growth in infrastructure work, RINL Chairman and Managing Director A.P. Choudhary said. International prices of scrap, finished products and all steel related items had risen considerably fuelling the growth in demand, he added.

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