A Steel consumer meet was organized by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and was attended by senior officials from the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, SSIC, major projects, MSMEs, and dealers from various parts of the UT.
According to a CRISIL SME Tracker, MSMEs mostly make long steel, pig, and sponge iron, the trade of which is low in the global market. With the domestic market forming 97-98 percent of MSME steel sales, their revenues are largely dependent on domestic demand-supply dynamics and input costs.
Addressing the meet, Union Minister of Steel, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh said that metal is indispensable for economic growth, being a crucial input material for industries like construction, infrastructure, defense, automobile, engineering, packaging, etc.
He assured that the Steel Ministry, along with Steel companies, with a number of new road and rail projects in the UT, the logistic constraints would be overcome leading to faster and even economic growth across the region.
The Minister applauded the initiatives taken by the J&K Government is projecting the region as an investment hub with a focus on its natural resources and industrious manpower.
He also appreciated the focus on improvement in healthcare with the construction of AIIMS, medical colleges, nursing colleges, etc. as well as the construction of various Hydroelectric Projects to overcome the acute shortage of electricity in J&K, which has also created huge opportunities for enhancing steel consumption in the area. He mentioned that the modernization and expansion of Leh airport is a laudable step.
The Chairman Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) Soma Mondal listed various strategic projects of national importance which have been executed in the region that includes the Zojila tunnel, the 8.5 km all-weather hi-tech tunnel connecting Qazigund and Banihal in Jammu & Kashmir, AnjiKhad cable-stayed bridge and Pakul Dul Hydroelectric project among others.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Puneet Kansal reiterated the importance of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh regions to the Government and assured full help from the Ministry of Steel in facilitating better availability of steel to the industry and projects in the UTs.