BHOPAL: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Wednesday that the steel ministry will promote recycling of scraps to increase in-house production and also provide affordable homes made of steel, which are cost effective and more durable. We want to increase steel consumption in the country and prepared prototypes of affordable house for Rural Development Ministry where 5 crore affordable houses will be built in coming five years”, Birendra Singh told TOI during a meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Steel.
He said the new scheme of PM Awas Yojana has endorsed Rs2.20 lakh for a beneficiary. The ministry has prepared prototypes of steel which costs less than Rs two lakh a unit and three times more durable than the present structure, said the minister. The meeting presided over by the minister Singh, reviewed the functioning of Steel Ministry and the road map for the steel sector in India. The minister said that recycling units will be promoted and scrap from all sectors including transport will be purchased to recycle and reasonably use the available resources.
We have workshops of pre-owned vehicles and most of the state governments have restricted use of vehicles after 15 years of manufacturing. In such case we could buy vehicle scrap at a higher rate than what consumer are getting now”, said Birender Singh adding that steel recycled from the scrap will be more ductile than the steel produced from Iron ore. Stressing that the industry needs to promote use of steel in new and innovative ways, the minister said whether it be steel bridges, steel buildings or its related products in making roads in rural areas, steel can be used productively.
The government has asked Railways, Shipping and Transport ministries to boost up use of steel in the infrastructure and industries which will increase its life to three times from 55 to 60 years at present to 150 years”, claimed the minister. He said steel consumption in India still remains low compared to world standards. To avoid over capacity situation, we need to enhance consumption of steel in every possible way. Steel is the backbone of our economy and we have to strengthen it.
There is significant potential for growth of Indian steel sector, underscored by the fact that the per capita steel consumption in the country at 61kg is much lower than the global average of 208kg”, he said. On anti-dumping initiatives, Choudhary Birender Singh said that the Steel Ministry has extended Minimum Import Price (MIP) on 66 steel products for a period of two months. Before recommending this decision, we met various stakeholders and sought their feedback. Two main concerns which they put forward were inverted duty structure and freight charges.
Besides, we have also imposed anti-dumping law as much of the downturn in the commodity cycle is attributed to rapid ramp up capacity, about 3% by China, who is dumping steel in India, this would adversely affect Indian industry”, said the minister. The anti-dumping action has increased steel prices to Rs.3000 a tonne in 15 days which will help industry reach its break-even and cut down its debts, he said.
During the meeting there was an MoU (memorandum of understanding) to be signed with NMDC (National Mining Development Corporation) but it was postponed as chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could not attend due to poor health conditions. The meeting also marked feeble presence of the members as only five members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee were present.
Credits ET Realty