The Union Ministry of Steel on September 13, 2018 gave away secondary steel sector awards to 26 mini steel companies in recognition of their contribution to the national economy.
The awards were presented by Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh, at a function in New Delhi. While 12 companies were awarded gold certificates for their performance during 2016-17, 14 were awarded silver certificates.
Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhary Birender Singh said secondary steel sector contributes to more than half of the total steel production in the country. The awards have been instituted in order to encourage the secondary steel sector and enhance their global competitiveness.
The strong performance of the secondary steel sector has given a significant boost to India’s steel production.
The sector plays a key role as a growth engine for the national economy and employment generation.
Encouraged by the overall potential of the sector, the Union Government has taken various initiatives to improve its performance.
The initiatives include:
• Supporting energy efficiency projects (energy conservation and control of GHG emission) and research and development activities.
• Strengthening institutional support.
• Protecting domestic producers from below-cost import from foreign countries through anti-dumping measures.
• Launching an award scheme to recognise and encourage progressive units for adopting energy-efficient technologies and innovative measures.
The National Steel Policy 2017 has set a target of 300 million tonnes per annum of production capacity by 2030.
India’s production capacity has already reached 137.97 million tonnes (MT) in 2017-18.
Looking at the current growth pattern, India is expected to rise to the second position after China.
One of the most significant aspects of the secondary steel sector is that it reaches out to millions of people in the rural areas, meeting rural demand.
Growing in conjunction with the primary steel sector, the secondary steel sector holds enormous potential for growth and opportunities in the country.
This sector has certain specific advantages over the primary steel sector such as lower capital and land requirements and the capability to produce special sections and customised products.
Hence, the sector is bound to play a major role in actualising the growth target of 300 million tonnes of steel production capacity by 2030.
Composition of the sector
The secondary steel sector comprises various sub-sectors including sponge iron units, EAFs, IF units, re-rolling mills, cold rolling mills, galvanising units, wire drawing units and tinplate producers.
These sub-sectors have an annual production capacity of less than 1 million tonne and meet the country’s demand for value-added steel products.
Background• The sector had a modest beginning with a small steel rerolling mill (SRRM) unit in 1928 in the industrial town of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
• From there, the industry grew impressively and spread to different parts of the country over the years.
• By 1968, the sector grew to produce nearly 5 million tonnes of steel annually.
• The initial three clusters of the sector included Kolkata in West Bengal, Mumbai in Maharashtra, and Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab.
• With the advent of induction furnace (IF) melting units in the early eighties, the sector further expanded in the country in cluster mode with a wider entrepreneurship base.
Steel Production in India
• India has so far achieved 103.13 million tonnes in 2017-18 in comparison to 97.94 million tonnes in the year 2016-17.
• The per capita consumption of steel is also steadily increasing and has reached about 69 kg per capita in the present scenario.
• The world crude steel production in 2017 also registered a growth rate of about 5.3 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The production stood at 1691.2 million tonnes.
• India ranks third globally behind China and Japan, with about 6 per cent share in the total world crude steel production
• The steel industry in India contributes nearly 2 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
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