Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that the Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) have contributed immensely to the country's economic growth.
Inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) here, he said PSEs helped the country in building a sustained industrial base and technological competencies in a number of areas.
He congratulated NMDC, the largest iron ore mining company, for earning a profit of Rs 4,293 crore (before tax) in financial year 2016-17 and thus emerging as one of the top profit-making Navratna PSEs in the country.
Naidu also commended NMDC for bringing the entire area of Bastar in Chattisgarh to the mainstream of civilization by opening up mines and employing tribals in the area.
He said the mining industry is contributing around 2.2-2.5 per cent of India's overall GDP, it is far below the potential of India's rich mineral resources, which have to be explored and fully tapped.
Stating that the country is on a high growth path, the Vice President said it needs more steel raw materials to build its infrastructure and strengthen its manufacturing base.
He noted that NMDC is implementing its strategic management plan to achieve 67 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) production capacity by 2021-22 and is also well poised to reach 100 MTPA production capacity by 2030.
Naidu said that NMDC's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in remote backward areas of Chattisgarh which face problem due to left-wing extremism are commendable.
NMDC has spent Rs 798 crore on CSR initiatives in the last five years, he said.
Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said that India will soon become a steel export country as the industry is poised to witness a growth of 8 to 10 per cent. He said the 3 MTPA green field steel plant at Nagarnar, Chattisgarh will bring much needed development in the entire region.
Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Y. S. Chowdary said that NMDC is adopting eco-friendly practices and safe mining procedures.