India produced 10,31,31,000 tonnes of steel against its capacity of producing 13,79,75,000 tonnes in the year 2017-18, said an official release.
In a written reply to the parliament, Minister of State for Steel, Vishnu Deo Sai added India should cut down it’s dependence on imports for special steel products by encouraging the domestic manufacturing of such products.
However, he added, steel is a deregulated sector and forming of joint venture for technology up-gradation is a purely commercial decision which depends on many aspects.
Despite being the world’s second largest producer of steel, India is still dependent on imports of special and value added steel products and there is a need to develop domestic capabilities to produce electrical grade and auto grade steel to become self-sufficient, he said.
Government is working towards the same, the minister added
The minister also added that recently, SAIL and Arcelor Mittal have firmed up their Joint Venture (JV) term sheet to enter into an agreement for setting up of a plant for production of automotive grade of steel.
That should take care of one segment of imports to some extent. There has also been a tie up of Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp (who specialize in developing electrical grade of steel), which will help for electrical steels, the minister pointed out.
Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) has also been set-up to undertake Research & Development projects for the betterment of steel sector, the minister added.