Fast track investments in infrastructure to help the steel industry recover: FICCI

May 4,2020

In order to help the steel industry recover from the demand slump (for steel products) that occurred as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, an industry body said, the government must look at fast track investments in the infrastructure sector.

This infrastructure boost could be provided by frontloading the investment suggested by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in the National Infrastructure Pipeline.

The FICCI also said in its suggestions to the Centre that construction activities should be permitted to operate with safety precautions as guided by the directives of the Government of India. At present, the highest priority should be given to fast-tracking operationalization of all steel-consuming industries.

"In order to further improve demand, the industry body has proposed developing and promoting new applications for steel products, including steel furniture, steel usage on railway platforms, etc. Asserting that steel scores above other competing commodities in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), FICCI further suggests that LCA be incorporated into procurement contracts provided by public agencies and state governments. It also recommends to give preference for domestically manufactured steel products,” a FICCI statement said.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has also recommended that the entire supply chain of the sector be incorporated into essential services, from integrated steel producers, secondary steel manufacturers to pipes, tubes, re-rollers, suppliers, downstream and service units, loha mandis, etc., enabling them to operate with precautionary measures as guided by the Central Government.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has pointed out that Monitoring Policy relaxation by policy rate cuts, market injection of liquidity, and quantitative easing does not benefit the steel companies, especially the secondary steel industry. It also proposes maintaining an additional three-month moratorium on interest payment and redemption of loans; with no penal interest and interest-free financing / at nominal rates for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to revive the industry.

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