“Record allocation in infrastructure sector will push up domestic demand”
In an interview with India Empire Magazine, Union Minister of Steel, Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh speaks on the Indian steel industry’s expansion mode, modernization drive, allocation for infrastructure and a range of other issues with Editor Sayantan Chakravarty
Against this backdrop, Ministry of Steel will make best use of the Make in India initiative under which India is expected to witness significant investments in Infrastructure, Automobile, Shipbuilding and Power sectors which will ultimately stimulate steel demand. Ministry will also suitably target the promotion of Indian Made Steel in infrastructure development and construction along with impetus on increased steel usage based on life cycle cost in any upcoming development activities in the country, which will be the way forward for increasing further steel demand.
In the current Budget, higher spending has been announced in infrastructure projects. More housing is required for the country. Do you see per capita consumption increasing rapidly in the near future?
There has been a record allocation of around Rs 4 lakh crore for infrastructure sector in the recent budget. The budget has also given infrastructure status to affordable housing and enhanced budget for housing, which is expected to revive domestic steel demand as it will push up demand for construction grade steel particularly those for roofing purposes. In addition to this, focus on areas such as ports, roads, affordable housing, physical infrastructure should provide the steel sector necessary impetus to meet its growth targets as projected in Draft National Steel Policy 2017.
Several new initiatives have been taken to enhance consumption of steel in India. Ministry is coming out with a National Steel Policy 2017, which is in final stage. We recently organised two regional conferences for increasing steel consumption in India, one in Gangtok and one in Ludhiana. We are also planning a national conference of secondary steel producers on 5th April. We are in constant talks with user ministries to recommend use of steel in infrastructure, housing and related sectors. Inter ministerial consultation is going on for maximising use of Indian made steel in key projects.