Kolkata, Jan 11: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Thursday said a cabinet note will be moved next week for putting up the Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) to boost research and development in the sector.
He also urged for using scrap in a greater way as the raw material for making steel and said that the ministry is hoping that the legislation relating to putting bar on vehicles of more than 15 years old to ply on the roads would be come through.
According to the Minister, this legislation is expected to facilitate generating of plenty of scrap in the country.
“Research and development and innovations are the weak link. We have decided to put up the Steel Research and Technology Mission of India and a director has already been appointed. An amount of Rs 200 crore has been placed at its disposal. We are moving a cabinet note next week,” he said here at a session organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
Birender Singh also said exports of 1.5 percent of total production would not be enough and exports of steel should improve to 6-7 per cent of total production in the next few years.
According to the ministry’s report, the exports of total finished steel during April-December of 2017-18 were up by 52.9 per cent to 7.606 million tonnes.
On the iron ore prices, he said the ministry wanted that the prices of the ore should not fluctuate in a way that it could create disturbances to small and medium players in the steel industry.
“We have constituted a task force in this (fluctuation of iron ore prices) and the report of it is awaited. As a government, we cannot intervene (in the price movement) but can make consumers feel that it is not fluctuating.
“The fluctuation can disturb the budgeting exercise of the small steel making players…Some mechanism can be thought of (for checking price fluctuations),” Birender Singh said.
The Minister also pointed out scrap-based steel would be of high quality.
“We are waiting for a legislation to come through… it is pending in Rajya Sabha. The legislation is that vehicles, more than 15 years of old would not be allowed. We hoped it would be through in the winter session but somehow it was not.
“We hope this would be through in the budget session. Then, the country would be having sufficient scrap to use for making steel and the scrap based steel would be of high quality,” he said.
The centre had unveiled the New Steel Policy, 2017 which aspired to achieve 300 MT of steel-making capacity by 2030. This would translate into additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore by 2030-31.
The Policy seeks to increase consumption of steel and major segments are infrastructure, automobiles and housing. New Steel Policy seeks to increase per capita steel consumption to the level of 160 kg by 2030 from existing level of around 60 kg.