Millennium Post

No plans to scale down steel production target: Min

New Delhi: The government has no plans to scale down its target for steel production unlike other countries as consumption of the alloy in India is growing slower than expected, Union Minister Birender Singh said Thursday.

" far as China is concerned they reduction is 112 million tonnes (MT)....We are on a different footing and that's why we (have) decided in 2017 to have a capacity of 300 MT, which is at more than the double, rather 2.5 time more than our present capacity," the steel minister said.

Excess production of steel world over is a point of discussion globally, he said, adding "but in India the government stand is to augment it to 300 MT".

"But, we made our stand very clear in that global forum of 34 countries and they have also accepted what we argued. And the level of consumption in the last two years has been 7.9 per cent (growth) in our country. That is one argument for having a capacity of 300 million tonnes.

"And if you see last eight months steel production figures in the current calendar year 2018 India has become the second largest steel producer in the world," Singh said.

India's steel production has been growing at the rate of 6.7 per cent, which is highest growth in output amongst the major economies of the world, he added. The National Steel Policy (NSP)2017 that envisages Rs 10 lakh crore investment, to take capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31, has been reduced to 8.8 lakh crore.

"We are organising one mega conclave on capital goods in steel sector manufacture in India. When we released our national steel policy in 2017 to create a capacity of 300 million tonne (MT) and about 260 MT production. So, that required about (initial estimates) about 10 lakh crore but now it is 8.8 lakh crore and out of that we will have to have machinery from other countries to the tune of 1,60,000 crore," he said.

The government is expecting that 20 memorandum of understanding (MoUs) worth $5 billion will be signed between India manufacturers, foreign technology provider and foreign capital good manufacturers during the conclave next week.

These foreign manufacturers are from eight countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany and Netherland. Well known world renowned steel technology companies such as Paul Wurth and Kawaski will be involved in the signing MoUs, the minister said.

"Total MoUs till today is worth about Rs 36,000 crore. Tatas may also join the signing some of the MoUs. Then ..This is good beginning," Singh said, adding that "Our ultimate objective is to transform India into a world class manufacturing hub through massive collaborative efforts with best in class institutes industry around the world".

NSP 2017 envisages setting up of 300 MT steel capacity by 2030-31. This means increasing the present capacity by 2.5 times from 138 MT to 300 MT in the next 12 years.

There will be a huge investment of over Rs 8,00,000 crore. Based on the current experience, about $25 billion worth of capital goods equipment is expected to be imported by 2030-31.

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