Govt to facilitate growth process
Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan wants to make the steel sector more efficient and globally competitive and backed it with assurance that the Government will facilitate in the growth process.
“We must make the domestic steel industry more efficient and global competitive,” said Pradhan at CII Steeling India 2019 hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry in association with the Ministry of Steel on 16 Dec 2019.
“While we agree that taxes are comparatively high in domestic steel sector, tax rationalisation will happen gradually as the country grows,” he added.
The industry must give priority to improving cost efficiency and reduce logistics bottlenecks to increase global competitiveness, stressed the Minister.
Commenting on the huge purchase capacity of rural India, Pradhan said “Purchasing capacity is increasing in rural India which is a silver lining. Steel industry will be the biggest beneficiary.”
The Government aims to provide pucca (bricks and steel) houses and piped drinking water to all citizen, which cannot be achieved without the support of steel industry, he pointed out.
He further added 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.
India’s demand has steadily grown over the last 6 years with 5.3% CAGR, according to Rasika Chaubey, the Ministry’s Additional Secretary. However, per capita steel consumption is third of global average.
India’s steel demand is expected to rise at CAGR more than 7% to reach 250MT by 2031, she said, adding that value-added steel demand is also set to rise.
The Government has identified top ten sectors for enhancing the steel intensity.
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, said Koushik Chatterjee, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel and Executive Director & CFO, Tata Steel Ltd.
But the 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, added Naveen Jindal, Chairman, Jindal Steel & Power Limited.
“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,” he stressed. fiinews.com