The steel industry must focus on developing new technologies that will help value addition and exports, minister of petroleum and natural gas and steel Dharmendra Pradhan said. Almost half of India’s steel output is in the secondary steel sector, he said at the 33rd national conference of All India Induction Furnace Association of India in New Delhi on Monday.
The country still is an importer of high-quality steel. With its large market and the skilled workforce, India can develop an ecosystem to produce high-quality steel and soon become a net exporter, the minister said.
He said the Narendra Modi government is making the policy framework more inclusive. The industry must reciprocate the government’s policy initiatives by producing more value-added products, he said.
The government is exploring new sources of affordable energy for the industry. The focus of the government is on moving towards a gas-based economy and it is creating a big power network through Urja Ganga Yojana, the minister said. The government is planning to set up 5,000 plants for bio energy generation, he said.
While it is important for the industry to derive the economies of scale, large corporates alone cannot cannot create enough jobs for the country’s large population, he said. MSMEs have a big role to play in employment creation. He said the government is committed to facilitate the growth of wealth creators.
Minister of state for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste was also present at the conference. The ministers gave away AIIFA awards, 2019.
Meanwhile, speaking at a FICCI function, Steel Authority of India chairman AK Chaudhary said the steel industry is staring at a disruption next year because of the expiry of a number of mining leases. He said the industry is burdened by the high cost of inputs and taxes. He also said the industry is forced to import coking coal when it is available in the country. He also called for the judicial allocation of iron ore.