The government is working on creating domestic capacity for the equipment being imported in the country, reportedly said Sunil Barthwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
India’s target is to more than double the steel output by 2030, from 10 MT at present. As reported, Barthwal said that the steel industry has grown by 6.7 per cent in nine months (up to September) but the domestic demand has fallen short. India has become the net exporting country of steel, said Barthwal while inaugurating the ASSOCHAM India Steel Summit 2017 at New Delhi. The minister said that pallet industry should be more competitive. The government is also putting thrust on how the logistics can improve, how the raw materials security can improve, etc. The strategy are laid down like coal linkages should be available, auction should be available, and more importantly, the washery capacities in the country should improved, because if the washery capacity in the country improves then definitely better quality lighter coal (low-ash) content of coking coal will be available to the country.
We are also trying to bring out a policy where domestic scrap generation and domestic scrap availability increases in the country, reportedly said the minister. He added that scrap availability increases in the country because we still import about 6-7 million tonne of scrap in the country, and therefore MSTC has signed a JV agreement with Mahindra for setting up a scrap plant in Noida. And if these scarp collection centres and induction furnaces come together jointly in a cluster, a lot of steel development which is scraped-based can take place in the country.
The steel ministry has made the task forces like railways, power, shipping and is looking at each and every aspect on how this logistic cost steel sector can be reduced. As reported, the minister also pointed out that steel should be transported through inland waterways. It will receive the competitive advantages steel at lower price in India but also be globally competitive, he added.
The trend in power sector is that the solar sector, power rates and the capital intensity in solar sector have drastically come down and they are able to sell that electricity at a very low price, said Barthwal. Improving our R&D in such a manner that we can use less of coking coal by using methods which may relate to technology such as corex and finex, he added.
Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel, said the Indian steel industry contributes approximately 2 per cent to the country’s GDP and employs about 25 lakh people directly and indirectly. As reported, he added that there is a need to develop good design, engineering and manufacturing facilities in the country to migrate long term dependence on imports of state-of-of the-art facilities or equipment at phenomenal cost.