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India to focus on domestic steel consumption: Birender Singh

IANS | Bhubaneswar |

With India targeting a 300 million tonnes a year steel production capacity by 2030-31, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Friday said the focus would be on domestic consumption and making the sector globally competitive.

Singh said his ministry has identified construction and manufacturing sectors like rural development, urban infrastructure, roads and highways, and railways for maximum consumption of steel.

"The government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs. 4 lakh crore for infrastructure this year. We have to ensure that the maximum steel produced in the country is used domestically," said the Minister, who chaired a second meeting of the National Steel Consumers' Council here.

In order to increase domestic consumption, he said exhibitions would be organised across the country in August where public sector undertakings and other stakeholders would be asked to showcase their products. 

The Minister said the new Steel Policy seeks to increase per capita steel consumption to 160 kg by 2030 from the existing around 64 kg.

Singh also outlined India's position in the global steel industry and said the Indian steel sector had evolved into the world's 3rd largest steel producer and was poised to move to the second spot.

The Minister said since India was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, extensive use of steel in areas like construction, infrastructure, power, aerospace, industrial machinery, and consumer products, is of strategic importance to the country.

Outlining the thrust areas of the National Steel Policy, he said it would focus on ensuring raw material security, import substitution, enhancing steel consumption, research and development of value-added steel, increasing energy efficiency and sustainability, establishing India as cost-effective and quality steel destination, and reducing carbon foot-print of the industry.