Jamshedpur, Jan. 16 : Steel industry is not under the control of the government and it works according to the market situation.
The industry is definitely going through a rough phase, but the government is taking measurers and soon the current situation will be overcome, remarked Union minister for steel minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Jamshedpur on Saturday.
Talking to the media persons at the Sonari airport, Tomar said that the central government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is contemplating appropriate measures on a priority basis to boost the steel sector.
The government is aware of the growing concerns of the domestic steel players that are confronting troubled times owing to excess import of Chinese steel to India and would take favorable measures to rescue the industry. He said that the government is thinking progressively to counter the situation and specially the import from China, Japan and Korea.
“China is the main threat as it has been dumping steel at prices lower than our production cost and this is hampering the situation here.
It’s high time the government takes severe steps as steel industry is the backbone of the country and has a major contribution in the country’s GDP where more than 6 lakh people are employed directly, while more than 40 lakh are indirectly employed,” said Tomar, who was in the city to inaugurate a private school building.
He said Japan and Korea are also exporting steel to India in tune with the free trade agreement (FTA) pact signed between the three countries, but the issue is with Chinese steel.
Stating that dumping from China was the reason behind the prevailing situation for the steel sector, Tomar said the government had already issued a quality control order to address the issue. The minister agreed that quality control measures and safeguard duty has marginally help the steel industry.
The problem of dumping was mainly from China, which was doing it at less than the production cost, is causing problem to the domestic industries, he said.
“Following detailed discussion with all the stakeholders of the steel industry my ministry submitted a comprehensive report to the commerce ministry for further consideration. Soon, the commerce ministry will come up with measures in favor of the steel industry,” said Tomar here on Saturday.
Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of his private visit Tomar said that the Union finance ministry will also come up with favorable measures to bail out the steel industry.
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) projects will start in Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, which will produce 24 MT steel.
Replying to a query, the minister said there is no shortage of iron ore in the country and the Modi government, by way of amending MMDR Act 1957, has provided ample opportunity to the steel industry to acquire captive mines through transparent bidding.
“In September 2014 the annual mining of iron ore was 8 million Tons and in March 2015 the annual mining figures reached 12.44 million Tons due to the reforms brought in by the Modi government in the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act,” Tomar said.
A total of 43 mines blocks have been put on auction and anyone interested can bid, which is also open to foreign players.
“We have asked SAIL to cut down expenses so that production cost decreases,” Tomar signed off.