India’s Steel Sector records remarkable growth, emerges as the 2nd largest global producer

The steel sector plays a pivotal role in crucial sectors such as construction, infrastructure, automobile, engineering and defence. Over the years, the steel sector has witnessed tremendous growth and India has emerged as a global force in steel production and the 2nd largest producer of steel in the world.

Production and Consumption

The production performance of the steel sector during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (April – November 2023) has been quite promising. The domestic finished steel production stood at 89.711 million tonnes against 78.498 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year (CPLY) which is 14.3% higher than CPLY. The domestic steel consumption stood at 87.066 million tonnes, which is 14.9% higher than CPLY of 75.765 million tonnes. Domestic crude steel production was 94.114 million tonnes, with a growth of 14.7 % when compared to the production of 82.072 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Import and Export

During April – November 2023, finished steel imports increased from 3.751 million tonnes last year to 4.253 million tonnes in the current year, witnessing a growth of 13.4%.


A. Recent initiatives for growth of steel sector:

(I) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: Government has approved inclusion of ‘Specialty Steel’ under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, with a 5-year financial outlay of ₹6322 crore to promote the manufacturing of ‘Specialty Steel’ within the country by attracting capital investment and promote technology up-gradation in the steel sector. On 17.03.2023, Government had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 27 companies covering 57 applications for categories under the PLI Scheme.

The performance and outcomes of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the steel sector as of Q2, i.e., September 2023 for FY 2023-24 is given below:


Committed investment

(₹ Crore)

Actual Investment till Q2 2023-24 (₹ Crore) Committed production

for FY 2023-24 (000 tonne)

Actual production till Q2 2023-24

(000 tonne)

Employment generation till Q2 2023-24


Budgeted incentive outlay

(₹ Crore)

Actual incentive disbursed

(₹ Crore)

29531 10730 935 Nil 3785 6332 Nil*

*(Incentive to be disbursed from FY 2024-25 onwards)

(II) Nagarnar Integrated Steel Plant

NMDC’s 3 MTPA capacity Greenfield integrated steel plant has been set up at Nagarnar, located 16 km from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state. The decision to construct the Nagarnar Integrated Steel Plant was taken keeping in view the linkage with iron ore reserves and availability of investible surplus. The plant became functional on August 24, 2023 and has started production of Hot Rolled (HR) coil as final product.

(III)  Green Steel Making

In line with India’s commitments towards net-zero emissions, as enunciated in COP-26, the Ministry of Steel has taken various steps towards decarbonization of the steel sector.

  1. Ministry of Steel constituted 13 Task Forces with the engagement of industry, academia, think tanks, S&T bodies, different Ministries and other stakeholders to discuss, deliberate and recommend upon different levers of decarbonisation of steel sector.
  2. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a National Green Mission for green hydrogen production and usage. The steel sector has also been made a stakeholder in the mission.
  3. The steel sector has adopted the Best Available Technologies (BAT) available globally, in the modernization & expansions projects.

(IV) Ministry of Steel’s Engagement with PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan

The Ministry of Steel has integrated BISAG-N’s  capabilities into the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, uploading geolocations of more than 2000 steel units to gain insights into steel production facilities. This information will aid in planning railway line extension, inland waterways, highways, ports, and gas pipeline connectivity.

The Ministry has also mapped data of iron ore, manganese ore mines and Iron Ore Slurry Pipelines, allowing for better visibility and management of critical raw material sources. The Ministry has identified 22 key infrastructure deficiencies that need to be addressed in collaboration with other ministries for comprehensive and integrated infrastructure development. In addition, the Ministry of Steel has also onboarded Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) members on PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan.

The Ministry of Steel has been mandated to create Sectoral Plans for Efficient Logistics (SPEL) in line with the National Logistics Policy of 2022. The initial draft Sectoral Plan for Efficient logistics plan (SPEL) was circulated among major steel producers and associations and it was made available in public domain, ensuring a well-informed strategy. The suggestions received from stakeholders are being examined, and the finalized SPEL will be submitted to the Empowered Group of Secretaries through the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

(V) Steel Scrap Recycling Policy

The Steel Scrap Recycling Policy (SSRP) has been notified in 2019 which provides a framework to facilitate and promote establishment of metal scrapping centres in the country for scientific processing and recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources including end of life vehicles (ELVs).

Towards this end, MSTC Limited, a CPSE under Ministry of Steel, in Joint Venture (JV) with Mahindra Accelo, has set up MSTC Mahindra Recycling Private Limited (MMRPL). Till date, the JV has established eight (8) Vehicle Scrapping Centres at Greater NOIDA (NCR), Chennai, Pune, Indore, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bengaluru.

MSTC has also been entrusted to auction Government vehicles older than 15 years on the portal developed by the Company.

(VI)   Facilitation of National Infrastructure Pipeline Projects:

Ministry of Steel has been proactively taking up issues related to National Infrastructure Pipeline projects of steel companies with concerned Central/State Government, Ministries/Departments.

(VII) Steel Usage

The Government has formulated the National Steel Policy 2017, which lays down the broad roadmap for encouraging long term growth for the Indian steel industry, both on demand and supply sides, by 2030-31. Government’s push for infrastructure development through Gati-Shakti Master Plan, ‘Make-in-India’ initiative for manufacturing sector and other flagship schemes of the Government would provide impetus to the demand and consumption of steel in the country. Steps taken in this regard includes:

  1. Ministry of Steel has set up a committee of experts from Industry and Technical Institutions (IITs/NITs) for development of steel intensive designs for construction of houses and long span road bridges for fostering steel usage in the Housing and Construction sector.
  2. M/o Steel has also formed a committee of experts from INSDAG, IITs, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and industry experts for development of designs for long span (30m, 35m, and 40m) steel based Bridges. The design for 30m has been approved and sent to MoRTH for adoption.
  3. M/o Steel has taken up with BIS for development of Codes for steel intensive construction. BIS has informed that a committee having members from steel industry has been formed and the development of codes is in advanced stages.
  4. To promote availability of specialty steels for domestic consumption, the Government has also notified Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Specialty Steel to promote the manufacturing of specialty steel within the country.

(VIII) R&D through Government Budget

Ministry of Steel seeks R&D Project proposals in joint collaborative mode from reputed Academic Institutions, Research Laboratories and Steel Companies for pursuing R&D projects for development of new alternate processes & technologies to address the burning issues faced by the Iron & Steel Sector such as climate change (green steel production, H2 based steel production, CCUS etc.), waste utilization, resource efficiency, etc. for providing financial assistance under the R&D Scheme “Promotion of Research & Development in Iron & Steel Sector”.

Industrial participation, both in terms of collaboration and financial contribution, is mandatory for the R&D proposals to be considered for funding under the R&D Scheme.

During the FY 2023, a total of 4 R&D projects have been approved with a total cost of ₹360.48 lakhs with financial assistance of ₹239.63 lakhs from the Government budget. Additionally, there are currently 14 ongoing R&D projects of the Ministry of Steel.

(IX) Steel and Steel products (Quality Control) Order

Ministry of Steel has introduced Steel Quality Control Order, thereby banning sub-standard/ defective steel products both from domestic & imports to ensure the availability of quality steel to the industry, users and public at large. As per the Order, it is ensured that only quality steel conforming to the relevant BIS standards are made available to the end users.

As on date, 145 Indian Standards have been notified under the Quality Control Order covering carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, goods & articles made up of steel such as stainless steel pipe & tubes, laminations/ cores of transformers, products of tin plate & tin free steel etc. have also been notified to prevent circumvention of the Steel Quality Control Order.

(X) Safety in the Iron & Steel Sector: Formulation of Safety Guidelines for Iron & Steel Sector

After extensive consultations with stakeholders, academia etc, a set of 25 common minimum Safety Guidelines for the Iron & Steel Sector was formulated. These Safety Guidelines are at par with the global standards and are compliant with the requirements of the ILO Code of practice on safety in the Iron & Steel industry. Inputs have also been taken from the World Steel Association’s guidance document on “Safety & Health Principles and Definitions”.

The stakeholders from the Indian steel Industry and its associations have been urged to adopt these guidelines wholeheartedly, to ensure a safe working environment for the workforce. Ministry of Labour & Employment has also been requested to facilitate mandatory adoption of the Safety Guidelines by the Iron & Steel Industry.

B.      Other highlights:


The National Metallurgist Award 2022 is a prestigious award given by the Ministry of Steel, Government of India, to recognize the outstanding contributions of metallurgists in the iron and steel sector. The award is given in five categories: Lifetime Achievement, National Metallurgist, Young Metallurgist (Environment), Young Metallurgist (Metal Science), and R&D in Iron & Steel Sector. The award ceremony was held on November 22, 2023, and the winners were:

  • Dr Kamachi Mudali Uthandi – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee – National Metallurgist Award
  • Dr Rameshwar Sah – R&D in Iron & Steel Sector
  • Dr Niloy Kundu – Young Metallurgist (Environment) Award
  • Agilan Muthumanickam – Young Metallurgist (Metal Science) Award

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