Union Minister of Steel Beni Prasad Verma informed Parliament that his ministry routinely consults the steel industry to be apprised of the constraints to growth and recommends necessary corrective measures as and when necessary, to other concerned ministries.
He said the government has taken the following steps to support the competitive production and capacity growth of the steel industry:
(i) The Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) namely Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL) & NMDC Ltd., are in the process of implementing significant expansion in the crude / finished steel capacities in their respective brownfield / Greenfield locations.
(ii) An Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) has been set up by the Government for effective coordination and to expedite implementation of various investment projects in the steel sector.
(iii) Import of critical raw materials for steel industry such as coking coal, non-coking coal, scrap etc. are subject to zero or very low levels of customs duty.
(iv) To encourage domestic value addition and improve domestic iron ore availability, duty on export of iron ore has been increased to 30 per cent.
The minister further informed that Joint Plant Committee (JPC) data for April-November 2012 (provisional) shows that India’s crude steel production stood at 51.65 million tonne (mn t), a growth of 5.7 percent compared to April-November 2011.
World crude steel production data, reported by the World Steel Association (WSA), for the period January-November 2012 (provisional) indicates that among the top ten global steel producing nations, crude steel production growth was highest for Turkey (6.6 percent) followed by India at 5.5 percent.
However, in terms of volume of production, India (4th largest) was far ahead of Turkey (8th largest) during January-November 2012.