Government will soon be releasing a first draft of ‘National Steel Policy’ with a view to give concrete shape to its vision and plans for the steel industry.
NEW DELHI: Further adding to this information Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh emphasized on implementing a 100 percent quality regime into the steel sector.
Speaking after inaugurating the two-day ‘India Steel 2017’ meet here, he said that the past three years were challenging for the steel industry but due to the government’s strategic intervention at important times, India today was a net exporter and among the few countries that have a positive demand for steel.
The Minister further said that the steel production had gone up by 9 percent last year and exhorted that it should go up by 10 percent this year. Mr. Singh highlighted five focus areas where he felt a further effort was needed — production and productivity increase; R&D; ‘India-made’ steel; demand boost for steel; and excellence in quality and efficiency. He asserted that demand would increase in near future because India was strategically placed with a demand for infrastructure development.
Mr Singh also declared that he wanted to bring a 100 per cent quality regime into the steel sector. “Quality regime is one of the factors which can increase our exports to great heights.
The quality regime will be driven by the availability of raw materials, demand generation, and R&D.” “The next destination for steel consumption will be the African continent,” he disclosed and said for the next 50 years, lack of consumption will not hamper production.
While calling for increased R&D, he said, “We have been limiting ourselves to incremental improvements.” He expressed that in this era, R&D should also include marketing. He said that his Ministry was working with other departments to make alternative raw materials available so that the industry need not be unduly dependent on coking coal. He also mentioned that he was considering a proposal to make it mandatory to use India-made steel in key projects.
The Minister expressed disappointment that although India was the third largest producer of steel, it still imported value-added and specialized steels that are not made here. Earlier, he released an FICCI-KPMG report on the steel industry.