“Objective is clear. To increase the per capita steel consumption. The per capita steel consumption at present is 74 kg. The more we will increase it, the more it will benefit,” he said while speaking at ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat: Fostering Steel Usage of Steel in Rural Development Sector’ conference organised by CII.
The conference was organised to identify the avenues of steel usage in sectors like agriculture, rural development, dairying and food processing.
Steel is among the eight core sector industries of the Indian economy. Steel demand is positively correlated with economic growth.
Speaking further, Pradhan said steel should be linked with all respective sectors to see where the metal can find application. By 2022, as part of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana there will be a house for everyone. Emphasis is being laid on roads in the rural areas. Private business is coming in the Railways, he noted.
“Also, for the first time, in (the field of) agriculture, a plan has been made to pump in a huge investment amount in contract farming model.”
The minister said increasing per capita consumption will also create new job opportunities. It will increase the revenue collection of states.
“CII together with the Steel Ministry, other ministries like agri, food processing etc, departments must submit a report to the Steel Ministry within a month,” he said.
Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said there is a need to increase the use of steel in rural areas. This will also help increase farmers’ income.
Tomar further spoke about certain areas where steel will find application in a huge amount, thereby increasing the usage of steel in the country.
In the PM Gramin Awas Yojana, about 46.90 lakh metric tonne steel has been used and another 43.80 lakh metric tonne will be required in the remaining part of the ambitious project.
Steel will also be used in construction of roads and bridges under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. For the approved work in phase I and II of the project, about 102 lakh metric tonne steel will be required.
“The per capita steel consumption in rural areas as compared to the urban is at just 19.1 kg. I expect with collective efforts, the outcome of this webinar will be utilised to identify the areas of steel usage,” he said.