At the recently held CII Steel Summit 2013, stakeholders discussed problems faced by this backbone industry and what can be done to make things better for the steel makers of India.

India’s Ministry of Steel has prepared a roadmap; where the emphasis is on research and development through providing incentives to steel makers to invest in research.

As per the programme, greener technologies will be used to ensure minimal impact on the environment and there will be optimum use of raw materials said Union Minister for Steel, Beni Prasad Verma.

“Increased use of clean and green technology will certainly help us to reduce the carbon emissions and address the concern of global warming.” said Verma.

Similarly, to effectively utilise iron ore fines, modern pelletisation techniques will be used, Verma said while inaugurating the CII Steel Summit 2013 last week.

The Minister also suggested that better logistics could help minimise costs, “The transportation of raw material through slurry pipeline could be a good solution.’’

C S Verma, Chairman, CII National Committee on Steel and Chairman of SAIL, said that if the 2025 target of 300 million tonnes capacity is to be achieved, several steps need to be taken

With regard to input challenges, he said large-scale mechanisation of mines and improved capacity utilisation of coal washeries was imperative. Another huge challenge he saw was the availability of land, as about 1 lakh acres of land mass would be required for such projects.

The constraint of raw materials, especially in terms of  iron ore, was also highlighted by A P Choudhary, CMD Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. He urged the government to allow captive mines or else facilitate the supply of low priced iron ore to steel makers.

Earlier, welcoming the participants, Chandrajit Banerjee, CII Director General, expressed hope that the proposed new National Steel Policy would address several concerns of the industry as represented by CII in various fora. These include the need for inter-ministerial groups, allaying land acquisition concerns, R&D and the human resource challenge of skills shortage.

Further, projects worth over Rs 400 thousand crore were delayed, some for more than year, he added. With cost of land acquisition likely to increase three times over industrial projects may be rendered non-viable. Delays are also on account of the high levels of consent laid out in the bill and the retrospective applicability of the bill.

The Twelfth Five Year Plan envisages Rs 1 trillion investment in infrastructure which translates into steel demand of $15 billion. The CII Summit is thus being held at a crucial juncture and the deliberations will seek to inform policy makers and industry alike of the opportunities, challenges and solutions.

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