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National Steel Policy, 2017
India is now on track to surpass China to become the second-largest producer of steel after rising to third place in 2015. Given that India consumes 61 kg less steel per person than the global average of 208 kg, there is substantial room for expansion.
However, due to the insufficient supply of necessary raw materials, such as high-grade manganese ore and chromite, coking coal, steel-grade limestone, refractory raw materials, nickel, ferrous scrap, etc., the Indian steel industry is at a disadvantage.
What is National Steel Policy?
The government's long-term goal of boosting the steel industry is enshrined in the National Steel Policy. The goal of the strategy is to develop a steel sector that is technologically sophisticated, globally competitive, and supports both economic growth and self-sufficiency in the production of steel.
Since the steel industry is unregulated, the government works as a facilitator by fostering a favorable climate for its growth.
Need of this policy (NSP)
The steel industry employs approximately 25 lakh people and has a capacity of slightly more than 120 million metric tons.
Between 2000-01 and 2015-16, the country's steel production increased by 8.3% per year on average.
However, the industry has been struggling as a result of the world's idle steel capacity and the weak rate of economic expansion.
With the exception of 2013–2014, India has been a net importer of finished steel every year since 2007–08.
The development of the steel industry in India has been hampered by delays in land acquisition.
The proposed policy aims to develop a technologically advanced, internationally competitive, and self-sufficient steel sector.
Guidelines under NSP
These are −
Steel Demand and Capacity
The plan calls for India's domestic steel production capacity to more than treble to 300 million t by 2030–31.
The development of such additional capacity will necessitate a significant mobilization of natural resources, funds, manpower, and infrastructure, as well as an investment of almost Rs 10 lakh crore.
Around 91,000 acres of land would be needed to boost the capacity of steel production.
To ensure prompt industry access to land free of legal disputes, the steel ministry would work with the relevant state governments.
By establishing long-term connections with the coal sector, the proposed strategy aims to increase the supply of raw resources and encourage the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.
The Steel Ministry has suggested building brand new greenfield steel mills along India's coastline in order to take advantage of inexpensive imported raw materials like coking coal and export the finished product more profitably.
Gas-powered steel mills and technologies such as electric furnaces are proposed to reduce the use of coking coal in blast furnaces, thereby reducing reliance on costly coking coal imports.
In order to achieve that target, it expects new investments totaling Rs. 10 lakh crore as well as the creation of at least 11 lakh new jobs.
Objective of NSP
The following goals are the focus of the national steel policy −
By 2030–2031, create a 300 MT crude steel capacity industry that is competitive globally.
By 2030–2031, increase per capita steel consumption to 160 kg.
By 2030–2031, completely satisfy domestic demand for high-grade automobile steel, electrical steel, special steels, and alloys used in strategic applications.
Expand domestic production of washed coking coal by 2030–2021, reducing reliance on imports of coking coal by 50%.
By 2025–2026, become a net exporter of steel.
Encourage the steel sector to produce steel in a way that is safe, sustainable, and energy-efficient by 2030–2031.
Create and execute criteria for domestic steel goods' quality.
Mission of NSP
Create an environment that will enable-
Achieving self-sufficiency in the production of steel by assisting CPSEs, MSME steel producers, and private manufacturers with policy advice and support, as well as by encouraging adequate capacity expansions.
The development of globally competitive steel production capabilities.
Home production of iron ore, coking coal, and natural gas, as well as their affordability.
Encourage investment in the acquisition of raw material assets abroad.
Boost the demand for indigenous steel.
As a result, it can be said that the NSP 2017 draft is primarily concerned with boosting steel production capacity sustainably by investing in R&D initiatives that would assist the Indian steel sector in becoming effective and self-sufficient, securing India's status as a globally competitive steel manufacturer.
Q1. How much steel does India produce?
Ans. India is currently the world's second-largest producer of crude steel, producing 118.20 million metric tons (MT) of crude steel from January to December 2021, an increase of 17.9% over the same time last year (CPLY).
Q2. Which country is the largest consumer of steel?
Ans. The biggest consumer of seeming steel is China. China's apparent consumption of crude steel in 2019 was over 940 million metric tons.
Q3. Who decided to build a big iron and steel industry in India?
Ans. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, a believer in Harold Laski's Fabian socialism, decided that the technological revolution in India needed maximization of steel production.
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