Centre mulls to make steel industry globally competent
The Dollar Business Bureau The Government of India (GoI), which acts as a facilitator and coordinator in dealing with the steel industry, has taken few steps in order to make the deregulated Indian steel sector globally competent. This was informed by the Minister of State for Steel, Vishnu Deo Sai, in his reply to Lok Sabha on Monday. In this regard, the Minister informed that an Inter-Ministerial Group has been set up in the Ministry of Steel, in order to expedite the process of clearances and facilitate the faster implementation of investment projects in the steel industry, which would boost the steel production of the country. Aimed at increasing domestic value addition and to further improve iron ore availability for domestic steel industry, the government has also taken decision to increase export duty on iron ore to 30%, besides imposing duty at 5% ad-valorem tax (a tax based on the value of real estate or personal property usually imposed at the time of transaction) on export of iron ore pellets. The government, in its Union Budget 2015-16, has also decreased special additional import duty on scraps of iron and steel from 4% t 2%, the Minister informed. The Minister also informed about the government’s new scheme-‘Promotion of R&D in Iron & Steel Sector’, introduced in the 11th Five Year Plan which has been continued in the 12th Five Year Plan. As an addition to the above said scheme, the government has added a new component for development of technology for Cold Rolled Grain Oriented electrical steel sheets and other value added innovative steel products in the 12th Five Year Plan, the Minister added. Indian Steel industry,as a deregulated sector, will have most of its decisions taken by the individual investors, both the private and the Central Public Sector Enterprises, based on the market dynamics from their own equity and debt, without depending on GoI. However, these decisions by the government as a facilitator, comes after the statement by the Minister in his reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, that the government’s role was limited to just be a facilitator in the growth of the steel industry, in view of the industry coming under a de-regulated market. On a question to whether the Indian government was contemplating a ban on steel imports from China to give respite to Indian producers, the Minister had told Rajya Sabha, that the government ensures only quality steel imports into the country.
This article was published on March 16, 2015.