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SAIL vows to turn around this fiscal

New Delhi, April 4: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the loss-making steel giant, today signed a memorandum of understanding with the government committing a financial turnaround during the current fiscal.

The MoU for 2003-04 envisages a saleable steel production of 10.58 million tonnes. Apart from the volume growth, SAIL has committed to continue its cost reduction exercise, with a thrust on improvements in techno-economic parameters such as coke rate, specific energy consumption and enhanced production through the cost-efficient continuous casting route. A renewed emphasis on achieving higher revenues is expected to result in SAILís sales exceeding Rs 20,000 crore in 2003-04.

To keep pace with the dynamic market conditions, the MoU also envisages investments in some major projects like upgradation of Bhilai Steel Plantís rail mill, ERW pipe plant at Rourkela Steel Plant, installation of tension leveller at Bokaro Steel Plantís cold rolling mill, etc. SAIL is expected to invest around Rs 600 crore in 2003-04.

It has also promised to continue with efforts to further rationalise manpower during the year through a voluntary retirement scheme and natural separations. SAIL has achieved a reduction of over 40,000 in its manpower in the last five years, and has a long term target of 1 lakh.

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