New Delhi: Union Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, participated in the event ‘Steeling India 2019: Driving metal intensity in key sectors’ organised by CII here today. In his inaugural address, Pradhan talked about opportunities in the Indian steel sector, growing steel demand. and how technology and innovation can make the Indian steel sector more vibrant.
Speaking about innovation, the Minister said, “Innovation is the new weapon. More than resource abundance, scientific innovation has played a major role in shaping the new world. Our domestic industry must leverage innovation and new technologies to identify sustainable and cost effective options for steel manufacturing.”
Talking about steel usage in the country, Pradhan, said, “India is a rapidly growing market. Our people have high aspirations and rising purchasing capacity. This offers an unprecedented opportunity for the domestic industry to expand and grow. India’s steel per capita consumption, which is currently much lower than the global average, is set to grow. We have launched a collaborative campaign ‘Ispati Irada’ to increase the appropriate usage of steel. I am glad to see brand ‘Ispati Irada’ being used in this event”.
Expressing confidence that rural India will be the next driver of steel demand growth, Pradhan said growing economic activity, implementation of government schemes, and rising incomes will drive steel usage in rural areas, adding, “Govt. schemes like Har Ghar Jal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana etc. will drive the consumption of steel in rural areas.”
Speaking about greater efficiency in steel sector, the Minister said the Government is working to facilitate greater cost efficiency and logistical efficiency in the steel sector, adding that both public and private players are involved in developing Syngas plants in eastern India that will help lower cost for domestic steel manufacturing.
“Diversification of our coking coal supplies is also one of our priority areas. For the past few months, we have taken several initiatives and have been working closely with the industry towards diversification of coking coal imports,” said Pradhan.
He expressed confidence that driven by prudent policy reforms by the government and the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry, India will soon become a net steel exporter, and also urged industry stakeholders to research ways to improve manufacturing efficiency and logistics, and reduce cost of production.