The Steel Ministry would ensure that raw material demands of steel manufacturers, especially secondary steel producers, are met when the mining leases expire in 2020, said Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, according to a latest press release from the CII. The Steel Ministry is working with Ministry of Mines for least disruption in the process and is developing a roadmap for auction of mines, he highlighted. Mining leases for coal and iron ore are slated to expire as of March 2020.
The Minister added that the Ministry is also exploring ways to build in clearances along with the leases so that the new lease holders need not go for clearances again. Further, the Minister said that MoPNG is working on a plan for Coal Gasification. He suggested that on the imports of Coking Coal, the industry should explore more options at competitive rates as India is short of this critical resource for the steel sector and imports around 80% of the total requirement.
On the supply of natural gas for the steel industry, the Minister informed the industry that a proposal for Eastern Gas Grid has already been moved which will cover all the steel industries in eastern corridor. Regarding steel consumption, the Minister suggested that a more comprehensive methodology to arrive at the actual consumption figure should be worked out.
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