Jamshedpur, April 1: Tata Steel Managing Director, India and South East Asia, T V Narendran on Friday said that the biggest challenge for company in the new fiscal will be the successful commissioning of steel plant at Kalinganagar in Odisha.
He also suggested a dedicated national policy to contain excessive import of competitive commercial items in the domestic market.
Expressing concerns over the rise in steel imports from China last year, he said that Indian steel companies are affected by the oversupply of steel in global markets, which has led to a surge in imports from countries like China. Exports from China, Russia, Korea and Japan have surged to all-time highs because of their sluggish domestic demand, excess capacity and competitive currencies. Narendran said the government should have a dedicated policy to curb excess import of commercial items across board.
Conceding that safeguard duty and MIP (minim import price) fixed by the Union government in 2015-16 business year to check increased import of Chinese steel helped the local industry in the short run, he said from here on we should have well laid out policy network to restrict increased flow of export items in India.
“Like automobile industry, we need to have a policy that would help domestic industry from flooding of commercial products from outside countries,” Narendran said.
“We, however, are confident that domestic consumption will go up in 2016 with initiatives like building smart cities and the government’s renewed focus on infrastructure. The minimum import price introduced by India is also a welcome decision, which will help domestic steel producers. However, its real impact would be visible only in near future,” noted Narendran.
Addressing a press meet at the Centre for Excellence, the steel major managing director said that the company is focused on the successful commissioning of the Kalinganagar project in the new fiscal and with the improved scenario they are hopeful of achieving it.
“We are aiming to achieve 1000 MT productivity per person,” MD said. In response to a question, Narendran said the successful start of the 3MTPA Kalinganagar plant in a phased manner is also a challenge in the 2017 business year.
He said with focus on safety Tata Steel will continue to work tirelessly to remain competitive in the world market.
Incidentally, Tata Steel commissioned the first phase (3 million tons per annum) of its 6 MTPA capacity Kalinganagar Steel Plant — the largest single-location Greenfield steel project in India — in Odisha in November last year. Narendran said that Tata Steel is focusing on reducing cost of production.