National Steel Policy, 2017: Salient Features
On May 4, 2017, the Union Cabinet approved the National Steel Policy, 2017 with focus on enhancing high quality domestic steel production and making the sector globally competitive. This policy has now replaced the National Steel Policy 2005 (NSP 2005).
The National Steel policy aims to create self sufficiency in steel production by providing policy support and guidance to private manufacturers, MSME steel producers and Central Public Sector Enterprises.
- At present, India is third largest steel producer of the world. The steel sector contributes 2% of India’s GDP and provides direct employment to around 5 Lakh people.
- In 2016-17, India has crossed 100MT mark for production of steel. The new steel policy seeks to achieve 300MT steel producing capacity by 2030. For this, there will be a need of additional investments of Rs. 10 Lakh crore by 2030-31.
- The policy seeks to increase consumption of steep and major segments of infrastructure, automobiles and housing.
- Currently, the per capita steel consumption in India is 60kg. The policy seeks to raise it to 160Kg by 2030.
- The government will promote use of energy efficient technology in steel sector, particularly in the MSME steel units to improve overall productivity and reducing energy intensity.
- The government will establish a Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) to boost R&D in steel sector.
- The government will strive to take all policy measures to ensure availability of raw material (Iron Ore, Non-coking coal, Natural Gas etc.) at competitive rates.
India is poised to become second largest steel producer of the world in near future. A dedicated policy towards this is a welcome step. The policy has called for steep price preference, rigorous domestic procurement and needless certification formalities. However, to become a manufacturing hub, the government needs to encourage innovation in the steel production and value addition. For example some countries such as Japan and South Korea don’t have domestic raw material still are able to produce finest steel.