The Steel Ministry has released new draft National Steel Policy of 2017, envisaging to double India’s domestic steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
The draft policy anticipates a requirement of Rs. 10 lakh crore of fresh investments to meet production goal and expects creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs in the process.
Key Features of Policy
- Two alternatives vision: (i) Create a globally competitive steel industry that promotes inter-sectoral growth (ii) Create a self-sufficient steel industry that is technologically advanced, globally competitive and promotes inclusive growth.
- Focuses on: Impediments like high input costs, import dependency, availability of raw materials and financial stress plaguing the sector. Couple of factors such as the demand and production of sponge iron are still under discussion.
- Gas-based steel plants: Proposes gas-based steel plants and technologies such as electric furnaces to bring down use of coking coal in blast furnaces in order to cut down reliance on expensive imports of coking coal.
- Public sector firms in the steel sector: They should aim for economies of scale. The will be encouraged to divest their non-core assets through mergers and restructuring.
- Greenfield steel plants along India’s coastline: These plants will be set up under the aegis of Sagarmala project to tap cheap imported raw materials such as coking coal and export the output in a more cost-effective manner.
- Cluster-based approach: It will be pursued, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to ensure easy availability of raw materials, optimum land use and economies of scale.