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The Minister of State for Steel and Rural Development Faggan Singh Kulaste on Tuesday said that the country exported 13.5 million tonnes (mt) of finished steel amounting to ₹1 trillion and imported steel of around ₹46000 crores.

The impressive performance of the steel sector contributed their mite to the all time record of merchandise exports worth $420 billion from India. 

At a conference on Steel and Engineering exports organised by the Metalogic, PMS, Kulaste said that notwithstanding the challenges arising out of Covid-19, it is heartening to note Steel Sector both in terms of external trade as well as domestic steel production and consumption registered a record performance. The engineering sector, being closely linked to the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, is of strategic importance to India’s economy and steel sector is closely linked to this sector.

India’s all time steel high consumption at around 106 million tonnes and production at 120 million tonnes shows not only the resilience of the sector but also displays the exemplary grit and determination of steel players in India, added the Minister of State.

Speaking further about steel sector’s performance, the Minister of State said that we have the potential to do better in steel sector across all areas. As you are aware, the Indian steel sector is vibrant and growing at a CAGR of around 5 per cent to 6 per cent on a year-on-year basis., he said. 

Government of India have brought Production Linked Scheme (PLI) to produce speciality steel in our country and we hope that our strong steel sector in the coming days will be successful in producing the identified products to meet the domestic demand as well as export to enhance their share in the country’s external trade.

With our government’s policy announcements and changes in global supply-demand equations across sectors including railways , road, aviation, gas pipelines and housing, the sector is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years due to increase in investment in infrastructure and industrial production, Kulaste said. 

The demand for Steel in the country has gone up. But at the same time the competition for steel with other materials has also increased. In many sectors like automobile sector, white goods, railways, space, due to the cost of steel, due to its heaviness, steel is being replaced by other materials such as composite materials, because composite materials are lighter, stronger as steel, and cheaper. 

The Minister advised steel players to reduce the cost of production of steel by adopting the latest technology and said the sector must be ready to face the challenges for steel making from alternative materials.

The Minister of State for Steel cautioned steel players to focus on export of value added products rather than semi finished steel as production and export of steel in the country has a direct impact on the growth of economy as well as employment in the country.

He further said that Ministry of Steel is continuously interacting with Stakeholders in the steel sector to arrive at policy formulations for the growth of the sector. Due to the decisions taken by our Government from time to time, the export of finished steel has increased and the imports have decreased. Import of defective steel has been curbed to a great extent due to implementation of Quality Control Order and till date QCO has been enforced on 142 standards.