Union Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the ‘Steeling India-2019: Driving metal intensity in key sectors’ organised by CII here today. In his inaugural address, Shri Pradhan talked about opportunities in steel sector of India, 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 of 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, Shri 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. Our 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 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, he said that rural India will play a major role in driving steel demand growth. Growing economic activity, implementation of government schemes, rising incomes will drive steel usage in rural areas. “Govt. schemes like Har Ghar Jal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana etc. will drive the consumption of steel in rural areas,” he added.
Speaking about greater efficiency in steel sector the minister said that government is working on facilitating greater cost efficiency, logistical efficiency in the steel sector. He said both our public and private players are involved in developing Syngas plants in eastern India that will help lower cost for domestic steel manufacturing. He further said, “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.”
The minister 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 to research into ways to improve manufacturing efficiency, logistics and reduce cost of production.