Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Thursday said that the hurdles in the ArcelorMittal and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) Joint Venture (JV) have been cleared and very soon it would become realty. Talking to ANI, the minister said, “There were differences between two companies on certain points under the Memorandum of Understanding, so we extended it for another three months from the deadline of May 31, 2017. Now, these differences have been sorted out. Very soon the JV will come into force,” said Singh. SAIL and ArcelorMittal signed a deal in May 2015 to build an $897 million automotive steel plant in India.
According to the reports, the major bone of contention between the two companies was that the SAIL objected to a revenue-sharing structure that it believed would lead to a loss of up to 4 billion rupees a year. Talking about the other initiatives of his ministry, Singh said under the new National Steel Policy the government not only welcomes transfer of technology (ToT) but also 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with ToT.
The Union Steel Minister said this policy will enhance the quality of Indian steel and make it competitive for export, adding that India’s steel production is cheaper than China. He said his ministry has also told the Indian steel manufacturing players to find an alternative of cooking coal which is being imported in heavy quantity. “If this happens, India will be saving around Rs. 35000 crore in a year,” said Singh.
The minister also said that the Indian steel industry should do multiplying improvements and adopt innovation and new technology. “We have earmarked Rs. 200 crore for innovation; research and development. We will replace Japan from second position in the steel manufacturing in next three months. In the stainless steel production, India is already on second position in the world,” said Singh.