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CS Verma chosen 1st Prez of Indian Steel Association

An association of domestic steel makers, consisting of public and private players, for fighting common problems plaguing the sector took shape on Tuesday with SAIL chief CS Verma chosen as its first president. Using Indian Steel Association as a common platform, the steel makers would intend to work with the new government to find ways for achieving targeted 300 million tonnes per annum capacity by 2025 from about 100 mtpa now, a source said.

The decision to set up the association, brainchild of JSW Steel Chairman Sajjan Jindal, was unanimously approved at a meeting of the steel makers in last May.

Steel makers today sat down to give their new grouping a name and to choose the office-bearers.
‘CS Verma has been unanimously chosen as the first President of Indian Steel Association. The secretariat of the association would be based out of Delhi,’ the source, present in today’s meeting, said.

The formation of the group comes after the Indian Steel Alliance dissolved in 2008 as leading members such as Tata Steel and SAIL opted out. Incorporated in October 2001 as an umbrella body of leading domestic steel makers, ISA’s objective was to promote the usage of steel and development of the industry, among other goals.

‘The association would not be a copy of ISA. It will be different,’ the source said.

The major challenges that the industry is facing include low per capita consumption, rising imports and shortage of raw material.

The source said the grouping would also strive to promote consumption, which is low in India, and campaign for ‘infrastructure’ status for the industry.

India’s per capita consumption of steel in 2012 was about 57 kg, compared with the global average of 217 kg, according to the World Steel Association.

The steel makers will seek exemption for steel from free-trade agreements, especially with Japan and South Korea, to ensure that the alloy is not ‘dumped’ in the country.

The association would also pitch for banning export of mineral resources and use of asbestos.
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