New Delhi, Dec.23 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Steel and Mines Vishnu Deo Sai said today at an ASSOCHAM event here that an industry suggestion to impose minimum import price on steel products has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) last week.
Inaugurating the Ninth Steel Summit organised by ASSOCHAM, Sai said that steel and mines ministry is in talks with state-run iron ore miner, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) to explore the possibility of further reducing the iron ore prices.
“Now that winter session of Parliament has ended, we will sit with our senior minister and look into the challenges being faced by the Indian steel sector and explore possible solutions,” said the minister.
Sai informed that the mines and steel ministry has initiated talks with secondary steel producers to find a solution to their problems.
He also said that total investment in setting up four ultra mega steel projects (UMSP) will cross Rs 1.5 lakh crore mark as the government aims that each plant should have a capacity to produce 60 lakh ton steel. “Apart from producing 10 lakh ton of steel if we add the cost of mining, the investment amounts to about Rs 6,000 crore.”
He said that the Centre has signed an agreement letter with Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in this regard and is in talks with Karnataka government vis-a-vis a three million ton steel plant.
Sai further informed that the recently formed National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) is focussed upon exploration of coking coal resources across India. “By doing this we will not only become self-reliant in terms of coking coal but we can reduce import dependence and help save valuable foreign currency.”
He also called for promoting research and development in the steel sector to achieve long-term goals. “We are aiming for steel companies to invest about one per cent of their total sales business on research and development so that government is able to fulfil growing demand as part of its ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
In his address at the ASSOCHAM steel summit, Mr Sandeep Jajodia, senior vice-president, ASSOCHAM urged the government to reduce iron ore prices and bring them in line with global scenario. (ANI)