NMDC to invest Rs3,000 crore on iron ore pipeline

The pipeline, with an annual production capacity of 12 MTPA, will help the company in evacuating its increased production of iron ore to its domestic customers

State-owned NMDC today said that it will invest Rs3,000 crore to set up a 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) pipeline in Chhattisgarh to supply iron ore to its domestic steel customers, reports PTI.

"We will set a 424-km pipeline between our Bailadila mines and Vizag at an investment of Rs3,000 crore and will have an annual production capacity 12 MTPA," NMDC chairman and managing director Rana Som told reporters.

The company said it plans to place orders for the pipeline by October this year and commission it in the next two years.

"The pipeline will help us in evacuating our increasing production of iron ore to our domestic customers like RINL and Essar Steel," he said.

Mr Som said the company saw evacuation of iron ore coming down after its existing 274-km-long iron ore supply pipeline was damaged — allegedly by Maoists — in 2009. The pipeline is yet to be repaired.

The company is investing Rs3,400 crore to augment its annual iron ore production to about 41 million tonnes from the present level of around 22 million tonnes.

"Of this, we have already invested Rs2,000 crore and will commission Bailadila-11/D mines by the end of this financial year and the other will be commissioned after this," Mr Som said.

The company said it expects to achieve sales of around Rs2,400 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal.

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Industry ministry favours opening up FDI in multi-brand retailing

Currently, FDI in multi-brand retail is prohibited in India. However, the government allows 51% FDI in single-brand retailing and 100% in wholesale trade

Making out a strong case for opening up the multi-brand retail sector for foreign investment, the industry ministry today sought the views of different stakeholders asking whether foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector should be permitted, reports PTI.

"FDI in retail may... be an efficient means of addressing the concerns of farmers and consumers... Opening FDI in retail could also assist in bringing technical know-how to set up efficient supply chains, which can act as models of development," the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said in a discussion paper on the politically sensitive issue.

"It would also... assist in lowering consumer prices/inflation," it said.

The ministry has sought stakeholders' comments by 31st July.

At present, FDI in multi-brand retail is prohibited in India. However, the government allows 51% FDI in single brand retailing and 100% in wholesale trade.

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