Beni Prasad Verma held discussions with the Mr. Viktor Khristenko on promoting cooperation between India and Russia.
The Minister for Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma held discussions with the Russian Minister of Industry Mr. Viktor Khristenko on promoting cooperation between India and Russia in the steel and mining sector in Moscow on November 10, 2011. During his discussions he also made special reference of the tie-up of Indian Navratna PSU NMDC with Russian steel major Severstal for setting-up a 3 Mtpa integrated steel plant in the state of Karnataka. The proposed plant is going to be set-up as a 50:50 joint venture between NMDC and Severstal with Iron ore and coking coal being supplied by NMDC and Severstal respectively. The Joint Venture would be the first Russian investment in steel in India and will open up opportunities for not only the transfer of resources but also technology and skills. While welcoming the delegation led by Shree Beni Prasad Verma, the Russian Minister of Industry Mr. Viktor Khristenko said that Russia has noted that the Indian steel industry is going to emerge as the 2nd largest steel industry in the world and said that the Government of Russia was fully supportive of initiatives by Russian steel companies to position themselves to supply to the emerging Indian market. The delegation comprising Secretary Steel, Shri P.K. Mishra and other officials of NMDC and RINL. Shri Verma deeply appreciated the contribution made by Soviet Union in developing the Indian steel industry by providing technology, equipment and other related support. He stated that the recent initiation of the Russian steel major and Indian Mining leader NMDC to join hands to set-up a steel plant in Karnataka is an encouraging step and will get full support of the Government of India. Shri Beni Prasad Verma requested his Russian counterpart to provide all support to Severstal for developing the required infrastructure for its coking coal mines in Tuva republic which ultimately will be the source for the JV steel plant. Equivalent support for developing the iron ore mines will also be provided by the Indian government. The Indian Minister of Steel also requested the Russian side to consider cooperation in meeting the requirement of coking coal for the Indian steel industry. Both sides agreed to explore the scope of further cooperation between India and Russia in the coking coal and mining sector.