Millennium Post

Khel Ratna-type award for steel innovation

New Delhi: Giving a boost to the steel sector, the government will introduce 'Ispat Agradoot' award for the contributors and researchers of the steel industry. "This will be as prestigious as 'Khel Ratna' for sports luminaries," steel minister Birendra Singh announced during the first ever award ceremony for the Secondary Steel sector here in the national capital on Tuesday.

As per the National Steel policy, the government set the target of steel production of 300 MT by 2030, whereas the minister urged for more participation in the steel sector. Therefore, the ministry is coming up with more award schemes and setting up an apex board of experts. The minister further stated, "Like sports ministry, our ministry will also accept nominations of those who will send biodata from this sector and we will send them to the Union Home Ministry for 'Padma' award."

The Secondary Steel Sector Award 2016-17 nominated 82 composite mini steel plants and the stand-alone steel production, processing units across the country, having crude or finished steel production of less than 1 MT per annum. Reportedly, this sector contributes more than 34 per cent of the total production of crude steel in the country and 42.86 per cent of gross finished steel production.

However, the steel secretary Binoy Kumar feels that this sector will have to be more organised. "Because of the decentralised and de-cluster system of the sector, the Secondary Steel sectors have a disadvantage when it comes to logistics. However, this is going to play a major role in India's economy and with this kind of recognition, we want to see how you gear up for the challenges of 2030-31," he mentioned.

The minister also added, "We believe, the Secondary Steel sector may produce 70 per cent steel by 2030. On the other side, standardised steel production is the prime parameters for them, for which 86 per cent of them are under BIS certification and will bring 100 per cent soon."

"There are different Secondary Steel sectors, and to integrate them, the ministry has asked to form an apex body," the minister added.

Singh also considers state-wise power tariff and the shortage of railways rakes are major challenges for the transportation of raw materials. Another key issue is the price of imported coking coal. The government is going to organise a conclave for foreign machinery manufacturers, aiming an investment of $28 billion in the steel infrastructure in India to meet the production target.

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