The Ministry of Steel is taking a three-pronged approach to support the domestic industry, which has faced low demand and the influx of cheap imports. It is also trying to lower input costs, steel secretary Aruna Sharma told ET in an interview. Efforts are under way to mandate the use of ‘Made in India’ steel in government tenders to boost consumption. Edited excerpts:
Indian steel companies have been affected by an influx of imports. Will the government continue to protect them?
We are not against imports but we have to protect Indian steel against dumping. We will also not take any measure that is not WTO-compliant. Since August 2016, anti-dumping measures have been initiated and now 124 items are covered under it.
What steps are being taken to lower input costs for steel companies?
We are trying to improve the logistics network for movement of both raw material and products. For instance, the cost of transporting fines is the same as finished products – Rs 400. One solution is transporting it through slurry pipelines. Now, the railways have agreed to give right of way along railway tracks.We have got a map from pellet makers as to where they want to tap the fines both on the east and west coasts. NMDC will construct the slurry pipelines, which will be underground. Transport costs will thus come down to Rs 50 per tonne. Railways are joining hands in this since it is part of their business and they will also provide protection. Read More…
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