Make the Steel Sector More Efficient & Globally Competitive, Govt to Facilitate in the Growth Process: Dharmendra Pradhan

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New Delhi: We must step up to meet the aspiration to make India $5 trillion economy. To achieve this aspiration, we must make the domestic steel industry more efficient and global competitive, said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and natural gas & Steel today at CII Steeling India 2019 hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry in association with the Ministry of Steel.

Speaking at the occasion, he said, while we agree that taxes are comparatively high in domestic steel sector, tax rationalisation will happen gradually as the country grows. The industry must give priority to improving cost efficiency and reduce logistics bottlenecks to increase global competitiveness, he said. The minister added, the mining industry could look at the bidding system adopted for Petroleum & Natural Gas, called OLAP can be extrapolated for other minerals as well. He requested all stakeholders to work together towards this.

Commenting on the huge purchase capacity of rural India, the minister said, “Purchasing capacity is increasing in rural India which is a silver lining. Steel industry will be the biggest beneficiary.” Govt aims to provide pucca houses and piped drinking water to all citizen, which cannot be achieved without the support of steel industry.

Adding further, he said, technology, innovation and scientific temper will pave the way forward for enhancing steel contribution in the economy. From driverless car to planes on 3D design, lot of innovation has happened and the need for Steel and iron has always remained everywhere.

Ms Rasika Chaubey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Steel said that India’s demand has steadily grown over the last 6 years with 5.3% CAGR, however, per capita Steel consumption is third of global average. She further said that India’s steel demand is expected to rise at CAGR more than 7% to reach 250MT by 2031, value-added steel demand is also set to rise. Government has identified top ten sectors for enhancing the steel intensity.

Mr Seshagiri Rao, Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel and Joint Managing Director and Group CFO, JSW Steel Ltd. while giving his welcome address said that the consumption of steel in a country is organically linked to its economic development. Going by India’s GDP growth rate and the fact that our per capita consumption of steel is 2 kg as against the world average of 6 kg, it is evident that steel has ample scope for growth. There has been a major transformation in the end use profile of steel over the last few decades. The possibilities are endless for diversification of steel usages and it can become a favourite choice for end users as well as manufacturers.

For sustainable consumption growth, there should be growth from both supply and demand side. Considering metal consumption, steel accounts for 95% of consumption, said Mr A K Chaudhury, Chairman, SAIL.

Mr Naveen Jindal, Chairman, Jindal Steel & Power Limited said, “If steel has to be consumed in rural India, it has to be affordable. Indian Steel industry can produce affordable Steel only when we are globally competitive. Indian Steel industry faces inherent disadvantages like high taxes which make the industry uncompetitive. Quality of life has to improve for increase in per capital consumption of steel.

Mr Koushik Chatterjee, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel and Executive Director & CFO, Tata Steel Ltd said that the steel demand will witness a huge upswing, driven by affordable housing, construction in urban and rural areas, expansion of railway networks, development of domestic shipbuilding industry, opening up of defense sector for private participation, and the growth in the automobile sector.

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