Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 1

Mr V.S. Jain, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd:

"We welcome this budget, which is development oriented. The construction of five new ultra mega-power projects will boost demand for steel. The proposed deep draft port in West Bengal will be a boon for us in helping reduce ocean as well as rail freight for transportation of imported coal."

Mr Prasant Ruia, Managing Director, Essar Steel:

The steel sector welcomes the 2.5-3 per cent duty corrections on iron ore, zinc, refractories and catalysts. However, the rate cuts are below our expectations and will have marginal impact on costs. The increased allocation for agricultural and rural development and expressed intentions on infrastructure development will be a major boost for steel demand. There is need for speedy allocation of captive iron ore mines on the lines of the policy announced for coal."

Mr Arvind Parakh, Finance Director, Jindal Stainless:

"Nothing very specific for the steel industry, some duties have come down, others have gone up. But we are bullish because of the focus on infrastructure where stainless steel will be used extensively because of its non-rusting nature. From the demand perspective, railways, airports, cars, construction activities would use lots of stainless steel and so we expect double digit growth in these sectors."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2006)
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