Alluding to the impact of the GST on the steel sector, Minister for Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh on Thursday anticipated that with GST in place, the cost of raw materials will come down, making the sector competitive and boost exports. Singh said, “It was being anticipated that with GST in place the cost of raw materials will come down, making the sector competitive and boost exports. There were issues pertaining to the roll out of GST and the government was working towards bringing about clarity on them. With GST, the time and cost of transportation and logistics is expected to come down by 40-45 per cent.” Singh, who was present at a workshop organized by FICCI on National Steel Policy 2017 (NSP) and Policy for Providing Preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron and Steel Products in Government Procurement (DMI&SP), hailed the two policies as they will pave the roadmap for accelerating growth of the steel industry.
“The policies will focus on value addition, Research and Development (R&D) and raw material security to make the steel industry globally competitive and self-reliant while taking ahead the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’,” he said. The Minister emphasized that government’s aim is on production and consumption of clean and green steel. “Therefore, the policies provide for protection of human health, environment and safety of the people and urged that the industry should aim for zero waste and help in reducing the carbon footprints.” Singh further said that the roll out of the New Steel Policy (NSP), will create an environment for promoting domestic steel, where production meets the anticipated pace of growth in consumption and generate a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry that is self-sustainable and environment friendly.
Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel, highlighted the need of NSP 2017 which would enable the industry to grow rapidly by addressing the challenges that have emerged with new markets and issues related to gap in demand and supply in the sector. “The government, private sector and other stakeholders had worked in tandem to bring about these two comprehensive and robust policies.” Dr. Aruna Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, said that the government was on track towards achieving the target of 150 million tonnes (MT) but the real challenge would be to step it up to 300 MT. “The key factors for the two policies were quality and competiveness and these had to be sustained to augment the growth of the steel sector,” he said.
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In his policy presentation, Anupam Prakash, Director, Ministry of Steel, highlighted that the NSP 2017 aims at building a globally competitive industry, increasing steel demand, focusing on R&D and meeting the projected target of growing to 300 MT by 2030-31. Alluding to the key impacts of DMI&SP Policy, Prakash said that it would increase employment in steel and allied sector, improve steel industry and manufacturing contribution to India’s GDP, reduce dependence on import to cater large domestic market, develop the domestic steel market and providing the financially stressed steel sector with a market.
P. K. Singh, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Limited and Chair, FICCI Steel Committee, said that awareness programmes would be organized during the current fiscal year to make the industry appreciate the usage of steel and steel slag. Also, a programme was being organized to resolve the issue of corrosion with the use of steel. He added that the workshop provided a platform to the government and industry to chart out the roadmap for the sustainable development of the sector. Prabir Raychaudhury, Director (Commercial), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited and Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee and Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, shared their perspectives on the two policies. On the occasion, ‘Glimpses of India Steel 2017’ was also released. Mr. Sunil Barthwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Government of India, moderated the session.