Millennium Post

Steel Ministry in multi-pronged talks to boost steel demand

To increase consumption of steel in India, Steel Ministry is talking with the ministries of road transport, shipping and railways to explore ways to raise demand for the metal, a top government official said on Wednesday.

The official also said per capita steel consumption in the country needs to be doubled in the shortest possible time and for this the industry also has to chip in. “We have been talking about increasing the demand and we have been in dialogue with the concerned ministries of infrastructure as to how to get into it. “We have to come up with modular structures for bridges, smaller bridges. Because if you come to modular, the cost will come down, which is very practical,” Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said at an event said here.

The Secretary added that Steel Ministry is talking to the Ministries of Rural Development, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping and Railways in this direction. The ministry will talk to real estate sector association CREDAI among others in this regard, she said. On consumption, Sharma said it is only 60 kg per capita, which is very low and needs to be increased. “We must double it as early as possible. At the shortest timeline and this conference should come out with suggestions on how to do it and the Ministry is completely in support of this,” She told the steel industry.

She stressed on the point that the percentage of steel used in the construction sector is low and needs to to increased. “What question we need to ask ourselves is that what percentage of steel is used in the infrastructure expenditure that is happening in the country. Unfortunately, we have not got in to the discipline of having heavy steel-based structures in the country,” she added.

Sharma further said: “That is where we lose the deal and that is where we all stakeholders have to put our thoughts together as to whatever money is going into infrastructure of that what percentage is flowing into steel.” Ministry is very clear on this account and that entire policies and efforts will be to enhance the contribution of the steel sector in infrastructure, she assured the industry. On the Quality Control Order on Stainless Steel, the Secretary said more than 12 domestic manufacturers have been registered, 14 international are in pipeline and 8 more are in process. “Our target to Bureau of India Standards (BIS) was that 50 per cent of the suppliers must be registered before the D-date of September 9, 2016.

“So that we get into the discipline of quality, get into the discipline of quality standardisation and we get into the discipline of marking the quality of the products that we have,” she added. 

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