The Steel Sector plays a pivotal role for crucial sectors such as construction, infrastructure, automobile, engineering and defence. Over the years the steel sector has witnessed a tremendous growth. The country is now a global force in steel production and the 2nd largest crude steel producer in the World.
Production and Consumption: – The production performance of Steel sector during the first eight months of the current fiscal (April-November 2022) has been quite encouraging. The domestic finished steel production stood at 78.090 million ton (MT) against 73.02 mt during corresponding period last year which is 6.9% higher than CPLY. The domestic consumption was at 75.340 mt, which is 11.9% higher to CPLY of 67.32 mt. Domestic crude steel production stood at 81.96 mt and was up by 5.6% over same period last year of 77.58 mt.
Recent initiatives for growth of steel sector: –
(I) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: PLI Scheme for domestic production of specialty steel has been approved with an outlay of Rs.6322 crore by the Cabinet. The five broad categories of Specialty steel, identified under the scheme, are used in a variety of applications including white goods, automobile body and components, pipes for transportation of oil and gas, boilers, ballistic and armour sheets, high-speed railway lines, turbine components, distribution and power transformers. The Scheme has been notified on 29.7.2021 and detailed Scheme Guidelines were published on 20.10.2021. The application process through online system was available from 29.12.2021 till 15.09.2022.
The scheme is set to commence from FY 2023-24 (PLI to be released in FY 2024-25). 67 applications from 30 companies have been selected under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Specialty Steel. This will attract committed investment of ₹ 42500 Crore with a downstream capacity addition of 26 million tonne and employment generation potential of 70000.
(II) Steel Prices: Certain measures were taken by the Government to provide relief from prevailing high prices of crucial raw materials & intermediates, which included iron and steel. Accordingly, modifications were made in tariffs on raw materials of steel and other steel products vide notification dated 21.05.2022 whereby Import duty on Anthracite/Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI) coal, Coke and Semi-coke and Ferro-Nickel were reduced to zero. Export duty on Iron ores/ concentrates and iron ore pellets was raised to 50% and 45% respectively. In addition, 15% export duty was imposed on pig iron and several steel products.
The prices of steel items declined approximately 15-25% across the board & stabilized consequent to the above measures. Now, taking in view the concerns of all stakeholders concerned, the said notification has been rescinded vide notification dated 18.11.2022 and status prior to 21.05.2022 has been restored.
(III) Decarbonization in steel sector: India’s steel sector accounts for 12% of India’s CO2 emission with an emission intensity of 2.55 t CO2/TCS compared to global average emission intensity of 1.85 t CO2/TCS. As a part of Glasgow commitments, India plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2070.
Ministry of Steel is continuously engaging with the stakeholders from the steel industry and the concerned stakeholder Ministries/ Departments such as Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MOEFCC), Ministry of Power, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), NITI Aayog etc. Detailed discussions on decarbonization and improvement of resource efficiency in Steel Sector were also held in meetings of Consultative Committees of Parliament on “Transition towards Low Carbon Steel-Green Steel on 6th May, 2022” and “Roadmap for Circular Economy in Steel Sector on 1st July, 2022”. Further, Ministry of Steel hosted a session on the 6th Day of COP 27 event in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt on 11th November 2022 wherein discussion were held on the issues of reducing carbon emissions hinging on technologies such as green hydrogen in steel making, Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilization (CCUS), Best Available Technologies on Energy Efficiency as well as transition to Renewable Energy.
(IV) Brand India in steel sector: Ministry of Steel has undertaken the initiative of Made in India branding of Steel produced in the country. Major Steel Producers have been on boarded regarding the importance of Made in India branding for steel. Ministry of Steel held multiple discussions with all the Major Producers (ISPs), DPIIT & QCI regarding evolving a common criterion for Made in India branding and the parameters that need to be captured in the QR Code for branding. After extensive consultations a common criterion has been finalized.
Initially, made in India branding will be started with Pilot roll out for few selected products of SAIL & Jindal Stainless Limited. QCI is undertaking consultations with Jindal Stainless Limited and SAIL for creating an IT platform for generation of QR code for affixing on the steel products. Once the necessary improvements are made in the platform for seamless operation, the roll out of the Made in India branding for steel shall be started on wide scale with all the ISPs.
(V) Quality control orders/BIS: Government has been facilitating supply of quality steel for critical end-use applications such as infrastructure, construction, housing and engineering sector. Ministry of Steel is the leading Ministry with maximum coverage of products under the BIS certifications marks scheme. A total of 145 Indian Standards on Steel & Steel products have been covered under Mandatory Quality Control Orders. These orders prohibit, import, sale and distribution of substandard steel products. The imposition of QCO is in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices, or national security as stated in the BIS Act, 2016. Through the aforementioned orders, Ministry of Steel has so far covered 99 Carbon Steel, 44 Stainless Steel & Alloy Steel products standards and 2 Ferro Alloys under the mandatory BIS Certification scheme.
Further, to meet the requirement of containers manufacturing, Indian Standard 11587 which was already under the purview of quality control order was revised by BIS by including the Corten Steel. And, the domestic steel manufacturers were urged to apply for BIS certification for the product. Four domestic manufacturers have already been certified by BIS and domestic manufacturer are ready to supply the desired quality of Corten steel required by container manufacturer to reduce the dependency of import of Corten steel and make container manufacturing industry Atmanirbhar.
In addition, as per the data of imported steel grades shared with BIS, more than 250 new steel grades have been included in the existing standards and 5 new standards are under preparation. This exercise is facilitating the upgradation of the Indian Steel Standards at par with Global Standards. This exercise is also facilitating indigenization of many of the imported steel grades for import substitution and make in India initiative.
(VI) PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan: Ministry of Steel has on-boarded itself on the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan Portal with the help of Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N). It has already uploaded geo-locations of 1982 Steel Units functioning in the country. It has also uploaded all the iron-ore and manganese ore mines in the country.
In the directions of Dept. for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Kalinga Nagar Steel hub has been taken up under PM Gati Shakti Area Approach. Ministry of Steel has also identified 22 critical infrastructure gaps and is pursuing it Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
(VII) Engagement with Secondary Steel Sector: A major segment or iron & steel industry is the segment of secondary producers which contributes more than 40% to the production of crude steel. The role of secondary steel sector in infrastructure development is immense. Not only does infrastructure development provide a stimulus to steel demand but steel intensive construction also leads to rapid building up of infrastructure. Considering the importance of this sector, which mostly consists of MSMEs, Ministry of Steel had organized a seminar under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Steel Minister on 27th March, 2022 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi with aim of providing a platform to players in the Secondary Steel sector to share their views on the challenges faced by the sector and ways in which the Ministry can create an ecosystem in which the industry can thrive.
In the conference fruitful discussion were held on topics viz. PLI Scheme, raw materials, green steel & renewable energy etc. The issues raised during the discussion have been taken up with concerned Ministries such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Port, Shipping & Waterways, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of MSMEs and Ministry of PNG. Ministry of Steel also organized seminars at Bhuvneshwar, Indore, Roorkee and Surat to interact with secondary steel producers and consumers to enhance steel demand in the country.
(VIII) Steel Minister’s Advisory Groups: With the approval of Hon’ble Steel Minister, two advisory groups have been constituted namely, Advisory Group of the Ministry of Steel for Integrated Steel Plants (ISPs) and Secondary Steel Industry (SSI) under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel. The advisory groups aim at identifying common issues being faced by the industry and finding a way for their resolution with active participation from the Ministry. Meetings, at regular intervals are being held for both advisory groups. So far, five meetings of the advisory group for ISPs and three meetings of the SSIs have been held.
(IX) State Minister’s conference: A conference of Ministers of Industry/Mines/Steel of State Governments held on 15.11.2022 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Steel Minister (HSM) to provide the State and Central Governments an opportunity to deliberate on matters related to issues in mining of raw material, growth, and future challenges of steel sector. HSM urged the states to take all-out efforts towards: (i) increasing rural consumption of steel; (ii) utilizing all grades of iron ore in steel-making; (iii) timely auctions of mines; (iv) formalization of recycling industry and bringing to scrappage the End-of-Life Vehicles.
Other Highlights: –
(I) GeM: Procurement of goods and services through GeM by Steel CPSEs has increased significantly over the year with the value of orders during April-November, 2022 being 130.39% higher over CPLY.
(II) MSME Payments: The status of pending payments to MSMEs by CPSEs of the Steel Ministry is being monitored on weekly basis to ensure that the same is credited timely and well within the 45 days’ time limit for such payments with 98% of the payment during April-November of the current fiscal being made within 30 days. During April-November 2022, Steel CPSEs have made a payment of Rs.4747.53 crore to MSMEs which is 41.35% higher than payment of Rs.3358.61 crore made during CPLY.
(IV) Mission Recruitment: Government has decided to fill up vacancies in the various Ministries/Departments in a Mission mode for which DoPT is the nodal agency. A dedicated online portal viz. “Vacancy Status Portal” has been put in place by DoPT for reporting and monitoring the progress in filling up the vacancies.
Steel CPSEs have taken action to fulfil vacancies expeditiously. Under the Mission, so far 1087 direct recruitments have been made by Steel CPSEs mainly SAIL, NMDC, KIOCL, MOIL and MECON.
In the matter of accommodating Agni veers, discussions have been held with Ministry of Defense and CPSEs under Ministry of Steel to understand nature of skill set demand / require to join any of the public enterprises under the administrative control of Ministry of Steel in the perspective year of 2026 onwards till 2031. CPSEs under Ministry of Steel having majority recruitment profile have shared all the desired inputs along with the educational requirement/skill sets of various posts in their respective CPSEs with Ministry of Defense for further necessary action.
(V) Commemoration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM): –
Ministry of Steel celebrated Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav during the week allocated to the Ministry viz. 4-10th July, 2022. Each day theme-based activities were organized by both the private and public sector steel companies such as moving exhibition with tableaus, banner and poster showcasing steel usage, seminars/workshops on increasing Steel consumption, Swachh Bharat activities in cities, townships, offices and plant premises, painting/essay writing competition for children on Green Steel/Environment and Sustainability, Safety & Health. The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign launched by Govt under aegis of AKAM was also widely participated by employees of steel Ministry and its organizations by hoisting National flag in their homes, virtually flagging and posting selfie with flag on social media.
(VI) Swachhata campaign: Ministry of Steel along with 7 CPSEs viz. SAIL, RINL, NMDC, MOIL, MECON, KIOCL and MSTC under the Ministry actively participated in the ‘Special campaign for Disposal of Pending matters’ (SCDPM2.0), held from 2ndOctober 2022 to 31st October 2022.
During the campaign, 38255 sq. ft of space have been freed up by Ministry of Steel and its CPSEs from disposal of metallic and non-metallic scrap, paper and e-waste etc. 43971 physical files have been weeded out and 4947 e-file have been closed during campaign period. In addition, several pending PG appeals/PG grievances, MPs references etc. were settled. Further, 280 Swachhata campaigns were carried out by the Ministry and its CPSEs.