The government is working towards addressing the high cost of capital for the steel sector, according the top Steel Ministry official.

Addressing industry representatives, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said, “We are quite aware about it (high capital cost) and we are consciously working on that. So maybe once we are ready with it and we have a bilateral dialogue with the bank’s and others, we will freeze it and move ahead with it.”

Sharma also said that the government is working towards addressing industry concerns on the functioning of ports and rails. “The Shipping Ministry is keen on resolving concerns in the first round of meetings that have been held.”

Responding to industry worries regarding the impact of the Goods and Services Tax on the steel sector, Union Steel Minister Birender Singh said, “It is anticipated that with GST in place, the cost of raw materials will come down, making the sector competitive and boost exports.”

With GST, the time and cost of transportation and logistics is expected to come down by 40-45 per cent, he added.

Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai said that there is a need to enhance competitiveness and quality and control the expenditure by way of reducing imports.