National Steel Policy Soon, Says Tripathy

New Delhi, Nov 7: | Updated: Nov 8 2003, 05:30am hrs
Predicting a rise in steel consumption over the next two decades, steel minister BK Tripathy has said government will soon formulate a national steel policy aimed at containing costs and increasing exports.

Identifying energy as a major cost factor in steel production, Mr Tripathy, inaugurating the annual general meeting of the All-India Induction Furnaces ssociation here on Friday, said production costs were increasing due to various factors and inputs. Therefore, he stressed, energy consumption of electric furnace-based steel plants had to be reduced.

Virtually benchmarking the country against China, Mr Tripathy said while it might not be possible to reach that level with regard to steel consumption and production, the government would look into all those factors that might increase the domestic consumption. National steel policy is almost finalised. It envisages good demand for steel and considerable increase in consumption during the next 20 years, he said.

The policy would lay the roadmap for future development while focussing on specific areas needing attention. Mr Tripathy also agreed to a demand from domestic induction furnace manufacturers for rationlisation of power tariffs and said his ministry would certainly take up the matter as far as possible.

The ministry has already circulated various drafts and is holding talks with stakeholders. The policy is expected to be put in place by the end of fiscal year, he said.

While many companies were installing mini-integrated plants, rural sector could be tapped for increasing the demand,Mr Tripathy said.