The Union Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma today chaired the 24th meeting of the National Steel Consumers’ Council of Ministry of Steel in Lucknow. Addressing on the occasion, Shri Verma said that due to the vision of great leaders of India and efforts of the Government, India is today the 4th largest steel producer in the world and the second best in terms of growth rate amongst top 10 steel producing countries. He said, currently India’s steel production capacity is 96 million tonnes per annum, which is being expanded gradually and it is envisaged to reach 300 million tonnes by 2025. A roadmap for achieving this target is under preparation, the Minister added.
Shri Verma said that due to the efforts of the Government, India became a net exporter of steel during April – December, 2013. He also informed that Ministry of Steel has become first ministry under Government of India to be awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification.
The Minister spoke about the efforts to increase industrial growth and development in Uttar Pradesh. He said that ten Steel factories are being set up at locations like Gonda, Barabanki, Lakhimpur, Hardoi, Jhansi, Kaisergunj, Mirzapur and Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich. Each plant will be set up at a cost of approximately 100 crores and will provide employment to 200 people. Besides, a Forged Wheel Plant is being set up at Rae Bareli and two Power Plants of 500 Mega Watt each are also being set up at Jagdishpur and Gonda. Each power plant will have an investment of Rs. 3,000 crore approximately and will provide employment to about 1000 people. Another steel unit is also being set up at Jagdishpur which will have a 13,000 tonnes per annum capacity corrugation unit and a TMT Bar mill of capacity 1,50,000 tonnes per annum. Stockyards are also being set up at Gorakhpur and Gonda.
Shri Verma said that Government is committed to accelerate growth of the Steel industry through various policy measures. He expressed concern over the gap in steel consumption amongst rural and urban areas and enumerated the steps taken to bridge it. He spoke about appointment of rural dealers for meeting demand of steel and setting up of steel processing units to provide quality steel at low prices to remotest parts of the country. The Minister emphasized on the need for raw material securitization, efficient and cost effective logistics as well as adoption of advanced technologies of steel making.
The members of the council raised various issues related to expansion of dealership networks, securitization of iron ore, and supply of steel to various segments of the market. Senior officials of the ministry of steel, Public Sector Undertakings, major steel producers, associations of steel consumers and nominated members of the council were also present on the occasion.