SAIL has always led from the front. Is it spearheading the industry's decline now?
I wouldn't say that the state of SAIL is a true reflection of the state of the steel industry. Despite static demand, our sales in the home market have witnessed a 4 per cent increase. But its performance cannot be viewed in isolation. The industry has been going through difficult times primarily because the slowdown in steel consumption has come when new capacities have materialised. Further, the currency debacle in east Asia has led to cheap imports. The input costs have also shot up.
SAIL's profits were only Rs 49 crore in the first half. What steps are you taking to counter this?
Internally, we have taken several measures to combat the external situation through improvements in operational efficiency as well as a more aggressive marketing strategy. We expect to achieve a saving of around Rs 700-800 crore this year. At Durgapur and Rourkela, modernisation is complete. With the hot strip mill modernisation at Bokaro slated for the...