India has chalked out an ambitious plan to more than double its current capacity of steel output of 57 million tonnes to become the second largest producer in the world as part of its overall thrust on infrastructure development.
The mandate has come from Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh, even as a major effort is also on to map the rich mineral resources of the country into a database to help prospect raw materials not just for the steel sector but also other industries.
"I have set a target of 124 million tonnes by 2012. Yes, we will then become the world's second largest steel producer. But, more importantly, India has a vast capacity to consume that kind of output. It is necessary for our infrastructure development," the minister said.