The steel ministry has extended the deadline for firms to apply for incentives under the Rs 6,322-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for specialty steel by a little over a month to April 30, 2022.
Firms were earlier given a three-month window till March 29 to apply.
Steel minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh on Sunday said the deadline has been extended to accommodate some changes in the scheme as sought by the industry.
“There is nothing like industry is not interested. We just wanted to accommodate some changes so that the industry can avail of the scheme. There is always a chance to improve upon the plan,” the minister said.
Sources said around 40 applicants have already registered on the PLI portal.
In December, the government deferred by a year the implementation of the scheme. Instead of 2022-23, the five-year scheme will commence from 2023-24.
The release of the incentives under the scheme will start from 2024-25, instead of 2023-24 proposed in the scheme guideline issued in October last year. The Cabinet had approved the PLI scheme for speciality steel in July 2021.
Specialty steel is a value-added variety of the alloy produced by coating, plating, heat treatment, etc of finished steel. It is used in various sectors such as defence, space, power and automobiles among others. India meets the domestic demand for specialty with imports with an annual forex outgo of around Rs 30,000 crore.
The objective of the PLI scheme is to promote manufacturing of specialty steel grades within the country and help the Indian steel industry mature in terms of technology as well as move up the value chain.
Coated products, high-strength/wear resistant steel, specialty rails, alloy steel products and electrical steel are the broad five target categories under the scheme.
The government had earlier said that since the scheme is funds-limited, the incentive payable shall not exceed the budgeted allotment for the scheme.
Further, the annual incentive payable shall be capped at Rs 200 crore per eligible company including that of group companies or joint ventures across all product categories.
“It is expected that the specialty steel production will become 42 million tonne by the end of 2026-27. This will ensure that approximately Rs 2.5 trillion worth of specialty steel will be produced and consumed in the country which would otherwise have been imported. Similarly, the export of specialty steel will become around 5.5 million tonne (mt) as against the current 1.7 mt of specialty steel getting forex of Rs 33,000 crore,” the government had said.