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.