Minister of State for Steel, Faggan Singh Kulaste has said that the secondary steel sector will play an important role in achieving the 300 million tonne (MT) target of steel capacity by 2030-31, as laid out in the National Steel Policy-2017.
Addressing the webinar on Secondary Iron & Steel Industry: Ecosystem, Opportunities & Challenges, organised by the industry chamber, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI), Kulaste said that as the world’s second-largest steel producer India was positioned to offer a lot of opportunities in the sector. The minister said that it was, therefore, imperative that raw materials like iron ore, etc., should be made available to the industry to meet the target.
“To mark our journey towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) and ‘Vocal for Local’, it is important to continuously innovate our product portfolio and production techniques to not only be competitive globally but also to have quality products available domestically,” he said.
Elaborating on the policy initiatives, Kulaste said that the ministry had come up with a ‘Draft Framework Policy’ for the development of steel clusters to meet the steel demand of 255 MTPA by 2030, with a per capita consumption of 160 kilos.
“The policy will focus on creating an eco-system for the development of secondary steel and steel ancillary units. Under this initiative, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the steel sector will be encouraged to produce value-added steel products,” he added.
He further stated that the steel cluster will be region-defined with ancillary and secondary steel units around the steel producers to ensure availability of raw materials.
“It will help the units improve their cost competitiveness, logistics efficiency and production quality. This, in turn, will drive self-sufficiency and generate employment opportunities for the locals around the clusters,” he noted.
Highlighting the concerns of the secondary steel sector, Kulaste assured of the government’s support in facilitating the availability of iron ore and addressing the issue of differential electricity tariffs in various states.
More Policy Action Needed
Anbalagan P, Secretary, Mineral Resources Department, Government of Chhattisgarh, stated that the state government has taken significant policy initiatives to eliminate procedural hindrances along with creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and industrial development.
“Iron ore is yet to reach its peak capacity and there is still a lot of requirement, in terms of govt policies, in the sector. Further activities will be taken up and we hope to put, at least one to two mines at the composite level by next year,” he added.
VR Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee said that more than 40 per cent of steel comes from the secondary steel industry in India.
“With the introduction of scrap recycling policy in the future, the contribution from secondary steel will further rise,” said Sharma.
He further stated that the biggest reform required in the country was that of ‘One Bharat, One Tariff’.
Satyam Prakash, Director Rail Movement, Railway Board said that the primary raw material for the steel industry was bulk material, the transport for which is always arduous.
“More than 80 per cent of logistics for the iron & steel industry is met through the rail network. The Indian Railways has taken various initiatives to support the steel industry,” added Prakash.