The Union Finance Minister, the Minister of Corporate Affairs and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitley inaugurated the conference on ‘Roadmap to 300 Million Tonnes: Opportunities & Challenges for Secondary Steel Producers’ in the presence of the Union Minister of Steel and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State of Steel and Mines Shri Vishnu Deo Sai in New Delhi. The maiden conference of secondary steel makers from across India, along with representatives of the government, was organised at Vigyan Bhawan by the Ministry of Steel, in collaboration with Joint Plant Committee and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley presided the inaugural session as the Chief Guest. Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of State of Steel & Mines Shri Vishnu Deo Sai and Secretary (Steel) Shri Rakesh Singh and other senior dignitaries were also present on this occasion.
Lauding the Steel Ministry’s initiative to have an interaction with secondary steel producers with a problem-solving approach, the Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitley in his inaugural address, exuded enthusiasm with the growth prospect of steel in the country. “Steel is integrated with the quality of life,” he opined, saying that it was ‘no rocket science’ to predict that the steel sector is bound to grow. Outlining the challenges faced by Indian steelmakers owing to large scale dumping and uncertainty in the global market, Shri Jaitley urged Indian steel producers to overcome such ‘transient challenges’ by strengthening their own competitiveness. “Where economies exist on strong and solid foundation, it is not very challenging to withstand transient changes,” he averred. Expressing concern over the spiral effect of stress in steel sector, which upsets the financial performance of banks, in turn affecting the loan available to other sectors, Shri Jaitley said that steel makers must address the root-cause and improve their competitiveness, and not resort to band-aid approach. The Finance Minister congratulated Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Ministry of Mines, by stating the MMDR Amendment Act 2015 was a “landmark initiative in amending the law.” He exhorted all participants to make use of business friendly policy of the current government and expressed faith in the able leadership of Shri Tomar.
Steel and Mines Minister Shri Tomar in his keynote address underlined the employment generating and growth causing potential of the steel industry, and expressed that the vision to take Indian steel production from the present level of 110 MT to 300 MT cannot be realised without the active and equal participation of secondary steel makers, along with major steel producing companies. “The recent visit of Prime Minister to steel plants in Burnpur and Rourkela, his presence at the signing of MoUs in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for setting up of integrated steel plants through Special Purpose Vehicle route, and the presence of Finance Minister in All-India conference for secondary steel makers, validate that this government is whole-heartedly committed to the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” Shri Tomar said. He assured government’s support to secondary steel makers, and encouraged participants to convey their concerns with clarity, find ways and means to increase production, generate employment opportunities and find sustainable solutions.
The Minister of State Shri Vishnu Deo Sai reiterated that secondary steel producers will play an important role in achieving the 300 MT vision of the government of India. The Secretary Steel Shri Rakesh Singh pointed out that India offers immense scope for both primary and secondary producers of steel, as the country is growing at an appreciable rate, the availability of raw materials have been eased through the new MMDR law and access to power & logistics have improved over time.
Secondary steel producers in India together produce 55% of steel in the country through different technologies. While they cater to a wide geographical area at low capital cost, the sector is fraught with challenges in quality, environmental conformance, old technology, operational efficiency, under presence in flat steel segment etc.
Steel is the integral part of the growth of Indian economy. The per capita consumption of steel in India has been steadily increasing, and steel production has doubled in last ten years – from 43.44 million tonnes (MT) in 2004-05 to 88.12 MT in 2014-15. The steel sector contributes nearly 2% of country’s GDP and the secondary steel sector is an important contributor to the vision of reaching the capacity of 300 MT. India has become the third-largest steel producer in the world and envisions being the second largest producer soon. India is looking forward to triple its production capacity from 110 MT presently to about 300 MT in the next 10 years.
It is for the first time that a conference exclusively for the secondary steel sector has been organized by the Ministry of Steel jointly with FICCI and JPC. The conference discussed not only the readiness of the secondary steel sector but also the issues and challenges faced by the steel industry and in particular the secondary steel sector. CEOs and Chairmen of associations like Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association (SIMA), All India Induction Furnace Association (AIIFA), Steel Furnace Association of India (SFAI), All India Steel Re-Rollers Association (AISRA), Steel Re-rolling Mill Association (SRMA), Sihor Steel Re-rolling Mills Association (SSRMA), Steel Wire Manufacturers Association of India (SWMAI) and CEOs/ CMDs of well-known companies were present and expressed their views in the conference.
The steel production is largely dominated by blast furnace based integrated steel producers who make steel using the basic ore. In India, the contribution of secondary steel producers is about 55% of steel produced, adopting the electric steel making process using steel scrap or from sponge iron. India enjoys a unique position in steel making where about 32% steel is produced in Electric Induction Furnaces. India is also the largest producer of sponge iron producing about 24 million tonnes per annum. The conference provided a good platform for the steel producers in the secondary sector to identify the right set of opportunities and discuss answers to the issues faced by the industry. The conference has demonstrated the strong commitment that the Ministry of Steel accords to the secondary steel producers in the country.