By following the practice of Indian made steel for government projects, we have been able to save at least Rs 5000 crore within a short span of time, said Chaudhary Birender Singh, Steel Minister
India was facing a lot of crisis about 2 years back. But now things are on the right track and the way the steel industry is moving the targets in our National Policy of 2017 will be met. India has a capacity for 300 million tonnes. Efforts are being made to see that the Make in India programme is successful and the equipment which is purchased to increase capacities is available within our country which will help to save a lot of foreign exchange.
India has been able to beat Japan and become the 3rd largest steel producer in the world. In the first 3 months of this year, India got the position of second largest steel producer and we hope by the end of this financial year, rather by the end of December 2018, India may attain the position of second largest steel producer in the world.
Indian steel prices are increasing significantly over the last couple of weeks as iron ore prices have increased as well. Steel is a deregulated sector. “ We do not have control over prices but still, I have formed a task force to look into this aspect of National Mineral Development Corporation raising prices. There is no regulation or no authority to regulate prices said” Chaudhary Birender Singh.
As far as America is concerned, our total import from the US is 0.31%. But if America still imports 80 million tonnes of steel from other countries and the tariff barrier is put there, then naturally those countries will be looking to dump their product.
Commerce Ministry of India approached the US for an exemption from tariff of 25% that has been imposed but India is not the only country, there are so many other countries who want a balance of trade should be maintained and initially there was some response. But for the time being, there is no such response from America said, Chaudhary Birender Singh.
One of the very interesting conditions of the National Steel Policy was that government project should use only Indian steel and this is a practice followed by a lot of other countries as well. Within a short period of time, India has been able to save at least Rs 5000 crore and there can be only two conditions for imports: if domestically someone is not in a position to supply a required amount or a specific grade. Otherwise, all the government agencies, Public Sector Units, and government departments have to give priority to Indian made steel.