ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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STEEL-Thinking Big

 STEEL Thinking 'Big' (From a Special Correspondent) THE tentative steel programmes for the Fifth Plan and beyond arc based on calculation of per capita consumption of kilogrammes of steel as a mea- lure of development and progress. However, while it is readily accepted that foodgrains can be, and have to be, rationed, steel capacity planning is still done without closely examining how much steel can be deliberately denied to the demand-makers. On the basis of loose assumptions, it has been decreed that the country will need to make more than 15 mn tonnes of saleable steel or 22 mn tonnes of ingot steel by 1980. Of this, a little less than two million tonnes are for export. Projecting 90 per cent utilisation of installed capacity, the plans are for 17 million tonnes of saleable steel capacity by 1980 and 37 million ingoi tonnes capacity by 1985! The questionable presumptions here are, first, that steel plants will be able to work at 90 per cent capacity soon after their completion and, second, that we can add some 13 million tonnes of ingot steel capacity by the end of the seventies. We cant

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