Raw Material security, Import substitution, enhancing steel consumption, R&D thrust areas for steel industry : Steel Minister

The Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh chaired the second meeting of the recently constituted National Steel Consumers’ Council of Ministry of Steel in Bhubaneswar today. The meeting was attended by Dr. Aruna Sharma Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Government of India alongwith senior officers from the Ministry. Addressing the council, Shri Singh outlined India’s position in the global steel industry and mentioned that Indian steel sector has evolved as 3rd largest steel producer in world and is poised to become 2nd largest producer putting Indian steel prominently on the map of the global industry.

The minister added that India being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and steel finding its extensive application in areas like construction, infrastructure, power, aerospace, industrial machinery and consumer products, the sector is of strategic importance to the country. He mentioned that owing to the significance of the sector and dynamic scenario in steel sector, the Government came up with National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017. With the roll out the New Steel Policy, it is envisaged that the industry will be steered with appropriate policy support in creating an environment for promoting domestic steel and thereby ensuring that production meets the anticipated pace of growth in demand.

Outlining the thrust areas of National Steel Policy he said, the NSP would focus on ensuring raw material security, import substitution, enhancing steel consumption, R&D of value added steel, increasing energy efficiency and sustainability, establishing India as cost-effective and quality steel destination, and reducing Carbon foot-print of the industry. Shri Singh also elaborated on the policy on preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel products (DMI & SP) which will cause increase in the consumption of domestic steel and help the Indian steel makers.

The steel minister mentioned that steel is one of the most important products in the modern world and forms the backbone to any industrial economy. The qualities and advantages of this material must be popularized for increasing the consumption of steel. Emphasizing on the low life cycle cost of steel, the minister said, it is a viable option for large construction, buildings or for individual users too. He said to enhance steel consumption, Steel Ministry has identified construction and manufacturing sectors like Rural development, Urban infrastructure, Roads & Highways, Railways etc. to be the key focus areas.

Shri Singh said, we have to intensify our research and development efforts for production of value added and special steels including auto grade steel, CRGO, CRNO, etc. by 2019-20. This would make India self- reliant in sectors like automobile and defence for which we currently have to depend on imports. He mentioned about early formalisation of Arcellor Mittal – SAIL JV. He also indicated reasonableness of raw material prices of iron ore and coal. Shri Singh said, ‘When we can substitute our entire requirements for any kind and quality of steel for being used in our industries it will be truly translating Make in Steel for Make in India.’