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PM stresses on increasing productivity to beat inflation

New Delhi, Sat, 06 Sep 2008 NI Wire

Expressing concern over the high inflation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the UPA government is expecting higher economic growth at around 9% in the 11th five year plan but the soaring inflation is the biggest worry, and to meet the expected growth target, we must have to enhance the productivity and increase output.

He was addressing after laying the foundation stone of Rs. 1,902-crore of expansion project of Salem Steel Plant in Tamil Nadu. This project would convert the steel plant into fully integrated unit after its completion with steel melting and continuous casting facilities, expansion of cold-rolled mill complex and other facilities for production of value-added stainless steel products.

Speaking to the present members including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Finance P. Chidambaram, Union Minister of State for Steel Jitin Prasada, SAIL Chairman S K Roongta, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru Karunanidhi and officers and workers of Salem Steel Plant, PM Singh said, “To ensure non-inflationary growth we must step up production in all sectors: in agriculture, in manufacturing and in services. We still have to go a long way in creating the infrastructure essential for modernising India.”

Pointing out the rising prices of essential commodities and petroleum product behind spiralling inflation that have hurt the policy of the government, PM said, “In the last few months, because of the steep increase in the international prices of petroleum products and primary commodities, inflation and its control have emerged as major concerns of policy.”

“We have taken steps to moderate the rise in prices. In doing so, we have also tried to ensure that inflation control measures do not hurt the growth momentum we have built up during the last four years,” he added.

Stressing on the fulfilment of the rising demand of steel product on global level, Manmohan said that international demand of steel is rising and despite of having fifth largest steel producer, we have to walk a long way. India is targeting to become the second largest steel manufacturer by 2015, thus we have to do ‘a lot of hard work and enterprise is needed for us to meet our rising steel demand and catch up with other industrial giants in the world.’

“It is all the more imperative that we work hard to increase supply and meet the rising demand for steel that I have insisted. Our steel companies have to operate on the frontiers of technology, managerial excellence and high productivity,” he said.

Salem Steel plant was first founded in 1970 when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the present of Thiru Karunanidhi had laid the foundation stone and now, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) that is celebrating the 50th anniversary year is expanding the major plant.

After its expansion, the capacity of Salem steel plant will increase from zero to 1.80 lakh tonne per year in production of crude steel, from 1.86 lakh tonne to 3.70 lakh tonne in hot rolling, and from 70,000 tonne per year to 1.46 lakh tonne in cold rolling mill.

‘The expansion of Salem steel plant will help us to meet the challenges of rising demands of steel’, said Prime Minister.

Read More: Salem

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