Need to reverse trend of steel import for meeting domestic demand: Pradhan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 18, 2020

There is a need to reverse the trend of meeting domestic steel demand with imports according to Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Speaking at the Virtual National Mining Summit 2020 organised by the PHD Chamber, Pradhan said: “China has become the largest producer of steel in the world. India is the second-largest, but despite this, we have to import finished goods to meet our requirement. We import raw material for special grade steel too. The newly implemented Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) has helped highlight some of these issues.”

“Now technology is available in the country to use the raw material, but we still have to import and meet domestic needs. Our goal is to reverse the trend. In addition to meeting all local demand, we also want to become a global manufacturing hub,” he added.

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Pradhan also said that there is a need to address the duty structure on raw material required for steel manufacturing. He said, “Today it is cheaper to import them the raw material required for steel manufacturing, be it scrap or low-grade metals. There is a need to address the tax, duties, royalty, double royalty, and levies. There are some bilateral and Free Trade Agreements too which incentivise imports. This leads to some unequal play in some commodities.”

“There is a need for the mining sector and industry to ensure ample availability of raw material. This is not the case today with respect to iron-ore production. There are more self-contradictions instead of self-competition within the iron-ore producers…This position needs to change for ensuring development of the sector,” he said.

“The pricing of domestically produced iron-ore should complement the domestic steel producers instead of just focussing on the export market,” he added.

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Published on November 18, 2020

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