Government to Hire External Consultant to Review SAIL Performance

Government to Hire External Consultant to Review SAIL Performance
New Delhi: The government will now hire an external consultant to review the performance of SAIL in a bid to aid the steel behemoth address mounting losses.

The consultant will help in identifying bottlenecks and will devise an operational and marketing strategy for the 'Maharatna' company, an official statement said on Tuesday.

"Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar directed that an external consultant may also be appointed by Ministry of Steel for a 360 degree review of SAIL's structure," it added.

The minister was heading a performance review meeting of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL).

Elaborating on the role of the consultant, Mr Tomar said the consultant may have the mandate to identify critical projects and bottlenecks.

Based on this, the consultant will recommend a holistic operational and marketing strategy, propose a time-bound and outcome-oriented turnaround strategy and monitor and steer the execution of this strategy in close coordination with Ministry of Steel, the statement quoted the Minister as saying.

Emphasising on reducing costs at all levels, Mr Tomar expressed concern over the net loss in the second quarter. India's largest steelmaker had reported a standalone net loss of Rs 1,055.96 crore for second quarter ended September 30, against a profit of Rs 649.49 crore in year-ago period.

Mr Tomar pointed out the need for enhancing value added production and improving productivity and underscored the need for aggressive marketing to retain market share and to improve production of saleable steel.

He highlighted the need for better operation management for reducing production of semis and bringing down inventory. Steel Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said SAIL is at its tipping point in its corporate journey and needs to act judiciously as well as fast at this critical juncture.

He emphasised that the aim should be to reduce the cost of operation, so that the company attains positive margin in the second half of 2015-16, the statement said.