ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Chief Executive Officer Mr. Dilip Oommen said that the real challenge will be to get domestic demand back on track.
While answering, "Many relaxations have been made to the lockdown, what are the difficulties now," Mr. Oommen said, "The capacity has already been increased on the basis of increased demand from exports, and the major challenge is to get domestic demand back on track. Even, with respect to the problem of migrant labor, the movement of the roads is hampered by the lack of availability of drivers.
The lockdown in India was the most extreme in the world and the aim was to prevent the spread of the virus. To give perspective In April, India's crude steel output decreased by 65 percent year on year, although China remained at last year's pace.
Even in badly affected countries, such as the US and Germany, the fall was 32 percent and 11 percent respectively. The obstacle in India is that the police are not organized around geographically. In order to ease the lockdown, the nation has been separated into green, yellow, and red areas, contributing to delays in the supply chain. Here again, the individual districts issued their own guidelines. This has been a major deterrent to the increase in production in various sectors, particularly in the case of India.
He suggested, "The government should loosen the purse strings of infrastructure spending. This has to be frontloaded as soon as possible. Second, the policy on scrapping vehicles should be speeded up. Third, export incentives need to be declared to make India more successful on the international market. Fourth, bank interest rates should come down in tandem with the RBI policy. All said that I think Indian business has to move from 'lockdown' mode to lookup mode. We are a huge nation with a huge latent market that can be pushed if the right steps are taken by all not only government.”