The government plans to set up new steel plants on surplus land available with PSUs by forging partnership with private sector to help more than double steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030. The Cabinet yesterday approved the New Steel Policy that aims to achieve 300 million tonnes of capacity by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore. At present, the steel production capacity is 126 million tonnes.
“After 12 years, a new policy for steel sector has been approved, which will provide a great boost to the industry and make it globally competitive,” Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told reporters here.
Stating that the land acquisition is an issue under the new law, he said the government plans to utilise the surplus land of steel PSUs to set up new plant in joint venture with private companies. “If we have to create steel-making capacity of 300 million tonnes, we cannot wait for long time”. He favoured vertical development for making best use of the land.
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Singh said the share of PSUs and private companies is expected to remain at the present level in future capacity addition. At present, the PSUs contribute 19 per cent to the total country’s production capacity.
Elaborating on this, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said the government is working out a mechanism to utilise the surplus land of PSUs for creating steel-making clusters in joint venture with private firms, including foreign companies. “These will be clean land available to them (private companies),” Sharma said, adding the PSUs could contribute land as equity in the JV.
On NPAs in steel sector, she said it is in the last stage of getting resolved and mentioned about thee Cabinet approving issuing an ordinance to amend Banking Regulation Act in this regard yesterday.
The steel minister expected that the demand for domestic steel would rise significantly after the Cabinet yesterday approved the policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products in government procurement.
“In this year, the government has budgeted Rs 4 lakh crore for infrastructure development. If even 10 per cent of this investment is on steel consumption, then there will be huge demand for domestic steel,” Singh said.
He expected this policy to boost FDI in steel sector as foreign companies would consider setting up plants in India. The government agencies can use imported steel only if it is not available in India, the minister said.
This policy seeks to give preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products (DMI & SP) in the government projects. It is applicable on all government tenders where price bid is yet to be opened.
Singh said the government is also working towards reducing the imports of coking coal and other raw materials by increasing domestic availability at competitive rate.