Coronavirus poses opportunity for Indian steel makers: Pradhan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 17, 2020

While the novel coronavirus outbreak in China may affect production, it also poses an opportunity for India’s steelmakers, according to Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Speaking at a workshop titled ‘India Steel: Fostering Steel Usage in Railways & Defence Sectors’, Pradhan said: “India does not want a humanitarian crisis to hit any part of the world. That’s why Prime Minister Narendra offered a helping hand to China that is reeling under the impact of the novel coronavirus.

“But, according to my assessment, the global steel markets are going to be impacted for the coming two or three years because of this. Domestic companies should step in to bridge the gap and meet the demand, especially from strategic sectors.”

The workshop was held in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“We must work towards a new strategy for producing 10 million tonne of special steel. The goal should be to meet the entire domestic strategic requirement of quality steel in the coming two or three years,” he added.

Value-added steel

Pradhan further said Japan and Korea, which earlier used to import raw materials and then produce value-added steel for exports, are experiencing higher production costs. Hence, it is an opportune time for the Indian industry and Steel Ministry to create an action plan for the production of value-added steel to meet domestic and international demand, going forward.

The Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) is identifying imports for end-use sectors, Pradhan said, reiterating that this data will enable the domestic industry to create an action plan to manufacture specific steel products domestically.

He also said that there should be a strategic paper highlighting the long-term requirements of the defence and railway sectors to form an action plan with the steel industry to meet domestic demand.

Published on February 17, 2020

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