INDUSTRY UPDATES on 10.09.2012


INDUSTRY UPDATES
on 10 September, 2012
STEEL, METALS AND MINING
Close
COAL
IST Steel & power says it is on track to start coal production
IST Steel & Power, in which former Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta's son Gaurav Gupta is a Director, today said it fails to understand why a show- cause notice has been issued to it for delay in developing the Chhattisgarh coal block that is progressing on schedule. "We don't know why a show-cause notice was given to us when the block is ready to start production from August, 2014. Our end-use plant (sponge iron) has also started production," IST Steel & Power's Director S C Jain told reporters after making a presentation before the Inter-Ministerial Group(IMG).

The IMG, headed by Zohra Chatterji, Additional Secretary, Coal, is reviewing the progress in 27 coal blocks which were allocated to private companies between 2005 and 2009. It may recommend de-allocation of these blocks which have not made satisfactory progress. Dahegaon-Makardhokra IV block was given to IST Steel and Power, along with cement firms Gujarat Ambuja and Lafarge India, in June 2009. The block has a total of 48.84 million tonnes of extractable reserves. IST Steel and Power owns the majority 53 per cent stake in the block.

When asked whether the company was given a favour in the block allocation, Jain said, "If somebody's father is a Minister, it is not his fault."  Jain said the mining plan for the block has also been approved and it is likely to get the forest clearance soon. Stating that the block would start production "in time", he said the company hopes the IMG would not recommend de-allocation of the block.

SKS Ispat and Power, in which Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai's brother held the position of "honorary director", also presented its case before the IMG. The company officials did not talk to the media. Seven other coal block allottees, including Tata Iron and Steel Company, JSW, Grasim Industries, Kesoram Industries and Bihar Sponge Iron, appeared before the panel.
(Economic Times)
IRON ORE
Indian iron ore exports in April to June dips y 40pct YoY

Departmental investigation has held 1989-batch IAS officer Mr Kripa Shankar Saroj and 1993 batch Punjab civil service officer Mr Amarpal Singh guilty in 2004 iron and ore scam of INR 17 crore.

Punjab’s Chief Secretary Mr Rakesh Singh has recommended strict action against the two officers for their involvement in the iron and ore scam.

In his letter written to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Secretary has requested ‘major punishment’ to both the officers.

The two officers in their capacity as MD and AMD of Punjab Agro Food Grain Corporation and had issued orders to sell (without issuing tenders) iron ore worth INR 17 crore to Reliance Polycrete in 2004. The company had submitted fake documents in the PAFC as guarantee. Later in 2005, the company issued two cheques of INR 5 crore and INR 9 crore in favour of PAFC in 2005 which were bounced. The company defaulted payments against PAFC.
(steel guru)
CEMENT
AGRICULTURE
Import of pulses, edible oil may rise this year: Thomas 
WITH the strong possibility of lower kharif acreage due to the deficient monsoon, the government is likely to go in for higher imports of pulses and edible oil this year, it is reported. 
Disclosing this in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K.V. Thomas, expressed the likelihood of lower acreage hampering production of pulses and oilseeds and elucidated that going in for more imports was the only way to match the supply-demand gap. He, however, added that the government had not yet made any specific estimation on import of pulses and edible oil in the current year. 
The current monsoon shortfall has reduced pulses acreage to 8.83 million hectares (mh) so far in the kharif season, compared to 9.97 mh in the same period of last year. Besides, the oilseeds sowing area shrunk to 16.42 mh (16.99 mh).