consultant to study the overall working of SAIL with a view to improve its performance. "MECON has been appointed as consultant for finalising a management consultant," Sai said. Tasked by Prime Minister's Office to look into viability of sick state-run companies, the think tank had submitted two separate lists of sick and loss-making PSUs.
One comprising those that can be closed down and the other of those that should be privatised through strategic sale.
A leading daily quoting sources reported that three SAIL subsidiaries -- Salem Steel Plant, Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant and Chandrapur Ferro-Alloy Plant-- have been identified for strategic sale.
However, nothing has been finalised as there are issues related to mine linkages and employees that need to be sorted before going for strategic sale.
SAIL is India's largest steel producing company. With a turnover of Rs. 50,627 crore in the year 2014-15, the PSU has five integrated steel plants, three special plants, and one subsidiary in different parts of the country.SAIL is in the final stages of completion of its Rs 72,000-crore modernisation and expansion programme that would enhance its hot metal capacity to 23.5 mtpa. The company has also readied a blueprint to take its capacity to 50 mtpa by 2025 with an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.SAIL is also the world's 15th largest steel producer with a production of 12 million tonnes of crude steel. At present, the Government of India has 86 percent ownership of SAIL. The company owns and operates nine manufacturing plants, including two subsidiaries.
The government is considering privatisation of two perennially loss-making units of public-sector steel major SAIL — Salem Steel Plant (SSP) in Tamil Nadu and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL) in Karnataka. The move is aimed at strengthening SAIL, which plunged into the red last fiscal, after a gap of 13 years.
SSP is a special steel unit which pioneered the supply of wider width stainless steel sheets and coils in the country. It has an annual capacity to produce 3.39 lakh tonne cold-rolled and hot-rolled stainless steel. VISL, which produces alloy and special steels, has 2.16 lakh tonnes of hot metal production capacity.
While SAIL posted a Rs 2,092-crore net profit in 2014-15, SSP reported Rs 249-crore loss and VISL, Rs 97 crore. In 2013-14, the loss of SSP and VISL stood at Rs 281 crore and Rs 123 crore, respectively. SAIL reported R2,616-crore net profit that year.
SAIL has been trying hard to reduce costs at all levels for some time now. On a drive to cut operational costs amid adverse market conditions, SAIL reduced bonus payments to its over 70,000 non-executive employees by almost half last fiscal. The PSU is also winding up many of its branch offices and pruning travel expenses of its senior executives.