Millennium Post

Govt working on 'alloy policy' to augment special steel output

New Delhi: The Centre is planning to come out with an alloy policy in a bid to augment the output of special steel in the country, a top government official has said.

Last year, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh had expressed unhappiness over steel PSUs performance and asked the companies pay attention towards value addition as well as production of special steel that has multiple uses including in the automobile sector, defence, shipping among other areas.

"We are coming up with an alloy policy," Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said stressing that the need for such a policy was felt in the wake of increased demand of special steel from various sectors.

She, however, did not elaborate on the time-frame as to when the policy will be ready for roll out. Sharma said the demand for the special steel is going to increase as industries like shipping, automobile, defence are growing in the country where such steel will be required.

"So, it is very important that India should gear itself up to start making special steel and therefore we are working on that alloy policy...We have designed a road map as how to move towards making this special steel," she said.

She said once the policy will be rolled out India will be producing sufficient special steel.

"Today we make base steel, we make auto steel through JVs.... now this will be the next step where we will be making sufficient alloy steel which is needed in defence and ship building, etc in a very big way," she said.

Last year, the government had approved National Steel Policy with an aim to raise domestic crude steel capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.

The alloy policy not only aims at increasing the output of special steel but also at producing more grades of special steel in the country, the steel secretary said.

"...some grades we are making, some we are not. ...This policy will lay down the path," she said and elaborated that as India has set a target of producing 300 million tonnes of steel, it aspires to increase the share of special steel too. Currently, India produces 134 million tonnes of steel only. The Union steel minister had earlier said that India should cut down its dependence on special steel product imports through value addition and form JVs with global leaders for technological know-how.

PSUs ... when they have advantages like captive mines... why don't they utilise it...why not to put up washeries...why not to go for value addition..special grades of steel, Singh has earlier said stressing upon the need to curb imports.

Despite India being the world's second largest producer of steel, it still is dependent on imports for some products and there is dire need to develop technologies to produce electrical grade and auto grade steel in India to become self-sufficient. Instead of producing just semi-finished and basic steel products, we must produce high value added products, which also get better prices, he has said.

The Indian steel sector is "full of opportunities" and the country must aim to grab the numero uno position in quality steel production, the minister said.

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