India will become a net exporter of steel in the next three years, Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
At present, the country is importing around 2-3 million tonne (mt) of steel from the overseas market. “Our overall capacity is around 140 mt and our production is around 100 mt. We want to be a net exporter of steel for a long period of time in the next three years,” Pradhan said, addressing a steel sector event “Chintan Shivir” in Delhi. India is targeting an increase in its capacity to around 300 mt by 2030, of which around 250 mt is consumable.
During 2018-19, India’s total steel exports declined by 34 per cent to 6.36 mt compared to 9.62 mt during 2017-18. On the other hand, finished steel import stood at 7.83 mt, valued at Rs 49,317 crore, up 4.7 per cent compared to 2017-18.
The minister also batted for “zero export” of natural resources from India. “Our raw materials should not go out. There should be zero export of natural resources and our industry should focus on value addition,” he added.
The government on Monday also launched a new campaign called “Ispaati Iraada” to use more steel products in place of single-use plastics. The steel industry is expected to play an important role in the transition to make India a $5-trillion economy.
SAIL may spin off downstream operations
State-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) said on Monday that the company was exploring options to set up a separate subsidiary for certain downstream operations to avail of the recent tax sops announced by the government for new manufacturing companies.