It expects at least a tenth of the proposed Rs 4 lakh crore spending on infrastructure as per the Budget this year — or roughly around Rs 40,000 crore — will be on steel
“The budget this year has made a provision of Rs 4 lakh crore on infrastructure. If a component of 10% of that amount is spent on steel we will see Rs 40,000 crore worth of steel demand being generated,” Chaudhary Birender Singh, union steel minister said in Kolkata on Thursday. He was speaking after a function to mark the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new corporate headquarters of MSTC Ltd.
Responding to a specific query on steps being taken up raise steel demand in step with its ambitious New Steel Policy 2017 that targets a production of 300 million tonne by 2030-31, the minister said: “We are targeting a consumption of 160 kg of steel per person up from around 64 kgs at present. This is likely to multiply steel demand across the country.” In particular, he mentioned he massive thrust being given to increase use of steel in housing under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana. “We have prepared a prototype that will help boost steel consumption in constructing shelters and some five crore houses are likely to be built under the housing programme. Out of this, two crore will come up in urban areas and the remaining three crier in rural areas,” Singh added.
On raw material security, he said the steel ministry has requested Coal India to set up more coal washeries to reduce imports of coking coal by 25-30%. At present coking coal is mostly imported from Australia. He also added that steel firms, led by major PSUs like Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and RINL have been urged to focus on using pellets and make use of iron ore fines and ensure judicious consumption of domestic ore reserves.