Monday, May 9, 2016

PSU cement units may be revived: Union Minister

THE government is planning to revive state-owned cement factories across the country. This may rekindle hope for many loss making PSUs across other sectors as well. Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said the goal aim is to bring down the cost of cement to make the projects financially more viable. "We are working on a plan to revive state-run shut cement factories," he said. He said that the ministry has sought details from the heavy industry ministry on loss making or shut cement plants. Gadkari has already held meetings with heavy industries minister Anant Geete and officials of Cement Corporation India to work out a detailed plan.
State-owned Cement Corporation of India, which comes under the heavy industry ministry, has six non-operating cement plants. The PSU achieved cement production of over 9 lakh tonne in 2014-15 and its overall capacity utilisation stood at 66 percent, highest in last five years. "We have the mines contract, so we are capable to hike production given that due government support is given to upgrade the operational efficiency," a leading daily quoted an executive of CCI.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the road transport and highway ministry and Cement Corporation of India will be signed soon in this regard, the report said.
The paper quoted another senior government official as saying that government plans to revive state-run units to counter private cement firms over fear of cartelization in the sector.
At present, a bag of cement costs around Rs 200 if booked through the cement portal of the roads ministry where 39 suppliers have already registered themselves. This compares with the open market rate of Rs 340 per bag.
Cement Corporation of India Limited (CCI) was incorporated as a company wholly owned by Government of India on January 18, 1965 with the principal objective of achieving self-sufficiency in cement production. The authorised and paid-up capital of the company as on March 31, 2015 was Rs. 900 crores and Rs. 811.41 crore, respectively. CCI is a multi-unit PSU at present having ten units spread over eight states with a total annual installed capacity of 38.98 lakh MT.
CCI with a strong work-force of 813 employees (as on 31.03.2015) has always encouraged balanced regional growth with most of its factories located in underdeveloped/backward areas. CCI has also been contributing to the development of areas around factories by adopting nearby villages and providing the basic facilities like school, health center, drinking water etc.
For maintaining the ecological balance CCI is launching massive tree plantation drives from time to time at all units and in surrounding areas.
CCI has established a wide network of 10 units with a total capacity of 38.48 lakh tonnes of cement per annum. The units are spread throughout the country from east (Bokajan in Assam) to West (Akaltara, Mandhar in Chattisgarh and Nayagaon in Madhya Pradesh) and from North (Rajban in Himachal Pradesh and Charkhi Dadri in Haryana) to South (Kurkunta in Karnataka and Adilabad, Tandur in Andhra Pradesh), with one cement grinding unit in Delhi.

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