Commodities

Steel prices are a concern, hope they come down: Minister

Richa Mishra / Monika Yadav New Delhi | Updated on July 28, 2021

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, Union Minister of Steel   -  Businessline

Prices, self-sufficiency in production and enhancing consumption are the focus areas for the new Steel Minister, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, a bureaucrat-turned- politician.

“Steel prices are a matter of concern and we definitely hope they come down...” In an interview to BusinessLine, Singh explained that “steel is a deregulated sector. Market forces decide the rate. The government on its own has reduced Customs duty on many items which we are importing, to improve the supply side…”

“We are spending more than ₹1-lakh crore on importing coking coal and speciality steel. We hope our latest decision will definitely assist us in saving our foreign exchange in the days to come,” Singh said, elaborating on the objectives before him and his Ministry.

Click here to read the interview: Steel sector PLI scheme will be a win-win for all: Minister

Low consumption

“The second objective is that our policy of 2017 envisages production of 300 million tonnes by 2030, we have to see how this will be achieved. We also want that the consumption of steel increases in the country,” he said.

“We are the second largest producer in the world, but our per capita consumption is declining. It is hardly 70 kg and if you see the rural area this is around 19 kg,” he added. According to Singh, the scope of steel in construction activity, especially housing, is immense. “So we will try to start an awareness campaign so that use of steel products is increased in rural areas as well as steel is a green product and you can recycle it,” he added.

Calling the latest Production-Linked Incentive scheme as a booster shot, he felt this will go the long way in making the industry more self-sufficient.

Published on July 28, 2021

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