Make in Steel Conference: Steel Minister seeks suggestions from stakeholders on New Steel Policy


New Delhi, Feb 17: India’s new draft steel policy, which envisages Rs 10 lakh crore of fresh investments for augmenting capacity in the sector and boosting per capita domestic consumption of steel, has been uploaded on the ministry’s website for eliciting suggestions from various stakeholders, Steel Minister Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh said here today.

 

 

The “National Steel Policy 2017”, which will be sent to the Union Cabinet for approval, aims at increasing per capita steel consumption to 160 kg and steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31. It also expects at least 11 lakh new jobs being created in the process.

 

“There won’t be any shortage of demand for steel in the country in the next 50 years. We are chalking out strategies to ensure that the steel production also increases,” he told the conference.

 

The conference was organized by KATM, a leading multi-commodity e-commerce platform, with support from Union Ministry of Steel, JSW Steel, ESSAR Steel, SAIL, MESCO Steel and Arttdinox.Over 300 delegates from 15 countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Iran, attended the event.

 

India is expected to overtake Japan this year to become the second-largest producer of crude steel behind China. But the country’s per capita consumption of finished steel is only 62 kg as compared to South Korea’s 1113 kg and China’s 488 kg while the global average is 208 kg.

 

Expressing concern over low per capita steel consumption in India as compared to the global average, he said a slew of initiatives have been launched to address that situation.

Recognising limited availability of metallurgical coal as a 'disadvantage' for the steel sector, the draft policy aims at increasing supply of domestic coking coal to cut dependence on imports by half and double domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31. It is estimated that around 300 MT of crude steel capacity by 2025 would be required to meet the domestic demand. 

 

The policy proposes setting up greenfield steel plants along the country’s coastline to tap cheap imported raw materials such as coking coal and export the output in a more cost-effective manner.

 

It focuses on impediments like high input costs, availability of raw materials, import dependency and financial stress plaguing the sector.

To cut down reliance on expensive imports of coking coal, the policy has mooted gas-based steel plants and technologies such as electric furnaces to bring down the use of coking coal in blast furnaces.

 

Establishment of steel plants along the coast under the Sagarmala project, which envisages connecting coastal areas through 2000 km of highways, has also been proposed.

 

“Such plants would be based on the idea of importing scarce raw materials and exporting steel products,” the policy states, adding that a cluster-based approach will be pursued, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises to ensure optimum land use, easy availability of raw materials and economies of scale. 

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