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Cabinet approves National Steel Policy 2017

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On May 3, 2017 Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved National Steel Policy 2017 which aims to make India self sufficient in steel production.  The policy is geared towards increasing domestic steel consumption, ensuring high quality steel production and creating a technology-driven globally competitive steel industry.

Goals of National Steel Policy 2017:

  • To achieve 300MT steel production capacity by year 2030-31.
  • To achieve 255 MT steel production by year 2030-31.
  • To reduce import dependence on coking coal from current 85% to around 65% by 2030-31.
  • To increase finished steel per capita consumption from current 61 kgs to 158 Kgs by 2030 – 31.

Key Features of National Steel Policy 2017:

Additional 10 lakh crore will be invested by year 2030-31 to increase the steel production capacity.

  • Automobiles, infrastructure and housing have been identified as major sectors which will help in increasing domestic steel consumption.
  • Encouraging MSMEs in steel sector to adopt energy efficient technologies to increase productivity and reduce energy intensity.
  • Establishment of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) to Government imposes minimum import price on 173 steel itemsfacilitate Research and Development (R&D) in steel sector.
  • In order to ensure availability of raw materials like iron ore, coking coal and non-coking coal, natural gas etc., Union Steel Ministry will adopt necessary policy measures.
  • The policy also envisages that demand for high-grade automotive steel, electrical steel, special steels and alloys for strategic applications should me met through domestic manufacturing rather than relying on imports.
  • All government tenders will give preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products. However, this provision will not apply if projects require specific types of steel which is not manufactured in India or if Indian companies cannot meet the required quality standards.

Overview of the Indian Steel Sector:

  • Steel sector is one of the core industries in India.
  • It contributes 2% to India’s GDP and employs nearly 6 lakh people.
  • Steel production in India crossed 100 MT in 2016-17. Currently India is the third largest producer of crude steel in the world and is expected to become second largest producer by year 2020.
  • Currently, finished steel per capita consumption in India is 61 kg, which is much lower than global average of 208 kg.