Millennium Post

New policy on steel after Cabinet nod: Steel Minister

The Central government will announce a new steel policy after getting the Cabinet approval, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said here on Sunday.

"The steel ministry has received several suggestions on the draft of the Steel Policy which was in the public domain. After incorporating important suggestions, the policy will be placed before Cabinet for approval," Singh told a press conference at Rastriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate office of the Visakhapatnam steel plant.

He said the steel industry in the country has been under the stress for the last three years due to trends in the international markets and imports.

"The import has been reduced by 26 per cent due to the anti-dumping duty imposed by the Central government to save the Indian steel industry," the minister said.

He said the demand for steel in the country is on the rise and the performance of the industry has been improved in the last six months.

"The target for the production of steel in the country is placed at 300 million tonnes by 2030 from the present 120 millions tonnes. The steel production in the country stood at 90 million tonnes last year," Singh said.

India is the third largest producer of steel in the world after China and Japan, he said, adding that the country will try to occupy the second position by improving its production in future.

"As per the 'Make in India' programme, steel produced in the country should be used domestically. There was a proposal that the requirement of steel for various ministries should be fulfilled from the domestic steel producers only.

This proposal will be placed before Cabinet for approval," he said.

Responding to a query on expansion of various public sector steel plants in the country, the minister said these units have sufficient land available with them and they can go for expansion any time.

To a question on the allotment of the captive mines for the Visakhapatnam steel plant, Singh said the Ministry of Mines is looking into the matter and will take a decision.

He denied there was a proposal to merge the Visakhapatnam steel plant with the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

Earlier in the day, the minister inaugurated a symposium on "Digital Economy for New India", organised by the VSP in Ukkunagaram.

During his address there, he highlighted the importance of digital economy in eradicating corruption and enhancing transparency.
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