Steel Ministry mulls award to promote innovation in secondary steel sector
New Delhi: The Steel Ministry is looking to constitute a prestigious award like Khel Ratna for secondary steel players to promote innovation in the sector, Union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said Thursday.
The award will be given to a player for research and development work and patent development for steel production.
The ministry wants to bring domestic secondary players at par with the primary steel players, Singh said at the first edition of Secondary Steel Sector Awards, instituted to acknowledge the role of the secondary sector in the domestic steel industry here.
"The secondary industry contributes 57 per cent to the total domestic steel output. It is claimed that when the capacity would be 300 million tonne (MT), their share would increase to 70 per cent. It is very important sector and are being awarded for the first time.
"I have seen awards for integrated steel players like Tata Steel, JSW Steel, SAIL and RINL... We also have plans of having Khel Ratna like award which is the highest honour in sports. It will be given to a player who works on research and development (R&D) and develops a patent of its own to produce steel," he told reporters.
The minister also said that 86 per cent products being produced by the secondary sector are BIS-complaint.
"We will bring the rest 14 per cent under the BIS code soon. In the beginning, they were reluctant. We explained them if you will go for any tender of any big project you will be disqualified on the very basis that you don't have BIS standard, your products are not of the required grade," Singh said.
The ministry wants secondary sector to have a remarkable position in the global steel market.
The minister further said "we want to bring secondary industry in par with the primary industry... I have also asked them to get in touch with SRTMI (under Steel Ministry) to identify the R&D needs of the country. The secondary sector must realise that besides increasing output, it must keep on exploring new and latest ways of producing steel."
New Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar said that the secondary sector is going to play a major role in India's economy and with this kind of recognition, the ministry wants to see how the sector gears up for the challenges of 2030-31.
Kamal Agarwal, Secretary General of All India Induction Furnaces Association (AIIFA), highlighted that the minister has also assured them of resolving their issues of high power tariffs and raw materials.
The AIIFA had earlier requested the minister to reduce the basic customs duty on scrap from 2.5 per cent to zero and take steps to help the players in dealing with the issue of high electricity rates in different states.