Union Minister of Steel, Ramchandra Prasad Singh addressed a steel consumers meet at Jammu today, as part of his two day public outreach tour of the region.While addressing the meet, the Minister of Steel called the metal indispensable for economic growth, being a crucial input material for industries like construction, infrastructure, defence, automobile, engineering, packaging, etc. He assured that the Steel Ministry, along with Steel companies, that with a number of new road and rail projects in the UT, the logistic constraints would be overcome which would lead to faster and even economic growth across the region.The Minister applauded the initiatives taken by the J&K government in projecting the region as an investment hub with focus on its natural resources and industrious manpower.Shri Singh also appreciated the focus on improvement in healthcare with construction of AIIMS, medical colleges, nursing colleges, etc. as well as construction of various Hydro- electric Projects to overcome the acute shortage of electricity in J&K, which has also created huge opportunities for enhancing steel consumption in the area.
He mentioned that modernization and expansion of Leh airport is a laudable step which will not only increase access but also promote domestic trade and tourism in the country.Chairman Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) listed various strategic projects of national importance which have been executed in the region that include the Zojila tunnel, the 8.5 km all-weather hi-tech tunnel connecting Qazigund and Banihal in Jammu & Kashmir, AnjiKhad cable-stayed bridge and Pakul Dul Hydroelectric project among others.She said that the regional SAIL warehouses could be galvanised to handle higher volumes once the demand of steel goes up here. SAIL expects that better Road and Rail connectivity would lead to faster movement of materials from the plants to the warehouses in the region, she said.Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Puneet Kansal reiterated the importance of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh regions to the Government and assured full help from Ministry of Steel in facilitating better availability of steel to the industry and projects in the UTs.The meet was organised by the Steel Authority of India Limited and was attended by senior officials from the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, SSIC, major projects, MSMEs and dealers from various parts of the UT.