The steel sector plays a pivotal role in crucial sectors such as construction, infrastructure, automobile, engineering and defence. Over the years, the steel sector has witnessed tremendous growth and India has emerged as a global force in steel production and the 2nd largest producer of steel in the world.
Production and Consumption
The production performance of the steel sector during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (April – November 2023) has been quite promising. The domestic finished steel production stood at 89.711 million tonnes against 78.498 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year (CPLY) which is 14.3% higher than CPLY. The domestic steel consumption stood at 87.066 million tonnes, which is 14.9% higher than CPLY of 75.765 million tonnes. Domestic crude steel production was 94.114 million tonnes, with a growth of 14.7 % when compared to the production of 82.072 million tonnes in the same period last year.
Import and Export
During April – November 2023, finished steel imports increased from 3.751 million tonnes last year to 4.253 million tonnes in the current year, witnessing a growth of 13.4%.
A. Recent initiatives for growth of steel sector:
(I) Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: Government has approved inclusion of ‘Specialty Steel’ under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, with a 5-year financial outlay of ₹6322 crore to promote the manufacturing of ‘Specialty Steel’ within the country by attracting capital investment and promote technology up-gradation in the steel sector. On 17.03.2023, Government had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 27 companies covering 57 applications for categories under the PLI Scheme.
The performance and outcomes of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the steel sector as of Q2, i.e., September 2023 for FY 2023-24 is given below:
|Actual Investment till Q2 2023-24 (₹ Crore)
for FY 2023-24 (000 tonne)
|Actual production till Q2 2023-24
|Employment generation till Q2 2023-24
|Budgeted incentive outlay
|Actual incentive disbursed
*(Incentive to be disbursed from FY 2024-25 onwards)
(II) Nagarnar Integrated Steel Plant
NMDC’s 3 MTPA capacity Greenfield integrated steel plant has been set up at Nagarnar, located 16 km from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state. The decision to construct the Nagarnar Integrated Steel Plant was taken keeping in view the linkage with iron ore reserves and availability of investible surplus. The plant became functional on August 24, 2023 and has started production of Hot Rolled (HR) coil as final product.
(III) Green Steel Making
In line with India’s commitments towards net-zero emissions, as enunciated in COP-26, the Ministry of Steel has taken various steps towards decarbonization of the steel sector.
- Ministry of Steel constituted 13 Task Forces with the engagement of industry, academia, think tanks, S&T bodies, different Ministries and other stakeholders to discuss, deliberate and recommend upon different levers of decarbonisation of steel sector.
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a National Green Mission for green hydrogen production and usage. The steel sector has also been made a stakeholder in the mission.
- The steel sector has adopted the Best Available Technologies (BAT) available globally, in the modernization & expansions projects.
(IV) Ministry of Steel’s Engagement with PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan
The Ministry of Steel has integrated BISAG-N’s capabilities into the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, uploading geolocations of more than 2000 steel units to gain insights into steel production facilities. This information will aid in planning railway line extension, inland waterways, highways, ports, and gas pipeline connectivity.
The Ministry has also mapped data of iron ore, manganese ore mines and Iron Ore Slurry Pipelines, allowing for better visibility and management of critical raw material sources. The Ministry has identified 22 key infrastructure deficiencies that need to be addressed in collaboration with other ministries for comprehensive and integrated infrastructure development. In addition, the Ministry of Steel has also onboarded Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) members on PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan.
The Ministry of Steel has been mandated to create Sectoral Plans for Efficient Logistics (SPEL) in line with the National Logistics Policy of 2022. The initial draft Sectoral Plan for Efficient logistics plan (SPEL) was circulated among major steel producers and associations and it was made available in public domain, ensuring a well-informed strategy. The suggestions received from stakeholders are being examined, and the finalized SPEL will be submitted to the Empowered Group of Secretaries through the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
(V) Steel Scrap Recycling Policy
The Steel Scrap Recycling Policy (SSRP) has been notified in 2019 which provides a framework to facilitate and promote establishment of metal scrapping centres in the country for scientific processing and recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources including end of life vehicles (ELVs).
Towards this end, MSTC Limited, a CPSE under Ministry of Steel, in Joint Venture (JV) with Mahindra Accelo, has set up MSTC Mahindra Recycling Private Limited (MMRPL). Till date, the JV has established eight (8) Vehicle Scrapping Centres at Greater NOIDA (NCR), Chennai, Pune, Indore, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bengaluru.
MSTC has also been entrusted to auction Government vehicles older than 15 years on the portal developed by the Company.
(VI) Facilitation of National Infrastructure Pipeline Projects:
Ministry of Steel has been proactively taking up issues related to National Infrastructure Pipeline projects of steel companies with concerned Central/State Government, Ministries/Departments.
(VII) Steel Usage
The Government has formulated the National Steel Policy 2017, which lays down the broad roadmap for encouraging long term growth for the Indian steel industry, both on demand and supply sides, by 2030-31. Government’s push for infrastructure development through Gati-Shakti Master Plan, ‘Make-in-India’ initiative for manufacturing sector and other flagship schemes of the Government would provide impetus to the demand and consumption of steel in the country. Steps taken in this regard includes:
- Ministry of Steel has set up a committee of experts from Industry and Technical Institutions (IITs/NITs) for development of steel intensive designs for construction of houses and long span road bridges for fostering steel usage in the Housing and Construction sector.
- M/o Steel has also formed a committee of experts from INSDAG, IITs, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and industry experts for development of designs for long span (30m, 35m, and 40m) steel based Bridges. The design for 30m has been approved and sent to MoRTH for adoption.
- M/o Steel has taken up with BIS for development of Codes for steel intensive construction. BIS has informed that a committee having members from steel industry has been formed and the development of codes is in advanced stages.
- To promote availability of specialty steels for domestic consumption, the Government has also notified Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Specialty Steel to promote the manufacturing of specialty steel within the country.
(VIII) R&D through Government Budget
Ministry of Steel seeks R&D Project proposals in joint collaborative mode from reputed Academic Institutions, Research Laboratories and Steel Companies for pursuing R&D projects for development of new alternate processes & technologies to address the burning issues faced by the Iron & Steel Sector such as climate change (green steel production, H2 based steel production, CCUS etc.), waste utilization, resource efficiency, etc. for providing financial assistance under the R&D Scheme “Promotion of Research & Development in Iron & Steel Sector”.
Industrial participation, both in terms of collaboration and financial contribution, is mandatory for the R&D proposals to be considered for funding under the R&D Scheme.
During the FY 2023, a total of 4 R&D projects have been approved with a total cost of ₹360.48 lakhs with financial assistance of ₹239.63 lakhs from the Government budget. Additionally, there are currently 14 ongoing R&D projects of the Ministry of Steel.
(IX) Steel and Steel products (Quality Control) Order
Ministry of Steel has introduced Steel Quality Control Order, thereby banning sub-standard/ defective steel products both from domestic & imports to ensure the availability of quality steel to the industry, users and public at large. As per the Order, it is ensured that only quality steel conforming to the relevant BIS standards are made available to the end users.
As on date, 145 Indian Standards have been notified under the Quality Control Order covering carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, goods & articles made up of steel such as stainless steel pipe & tubes, laminations/ cores of transformers, products of tin plate & tin free steel etc. have also been notified to prevent circumvention of the Steel Quality Control Order.
(X) Safety in the Iron & Steel Sector: Formulation of Safety Guidelines for Iron & Steel Sector
After extensive consultations with stakeholders, academia etc, a set of 25 common minimum Safety Guidelines for the Iron & Steel Sector was formulated. These Safety Guidelines are at par with the global standards and are compliant with the requirements of the ILO Code of practice on safety in the Iron & Steel industry. Inputs have also been taken from the World Steel Association’s guidance document on “Safety & Health Principles and Definitions”.
The stakeholders from the Indian steel Industry and its associations have been urged to adopt these guidelines wholeheartedly, to ensure a safe working environment for the workforce. The Ministry of Labour & Employment has also been requested to facilitate mandatory adoption of the Safety Guidelines by the Iron & Steel Industry.
B. Other highlights:
(I) NATIONAL METALLURGIST AWARDS
The National Metallurgist Award 2022 is a prestigious award given by the Ministry of Steel, Government of India, to recognize the outstanding contributions of metallurgists in the iron and steel sector. The award is given in five categories: Lifetime Achievement, National Metallurgist, Young Metallurgist (Environment), Young Metallurgist (Metal Science), and R&D in Iron & Steel Sector. The award ceremony was held on November 22, 2023, and the winners were:
- Dr Kamachi Mudali Uthandi – Lifetime Achievement Award
- Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee – National Metallurgist Award
- Dr Rameshwar Sah – R&D in Iron & Steel Sector
- Dr Niloy Kundu – Young Metallurgist (Environment) Award
- Agilan Muthumanickam – Young Metallurgist (Metal Science) Award(II) CAPEX by CPSEs under Ministry of Steel:During FY 2022-23, Steel CPSEs had a target of ₹11,590.46 crores (RE) against which the CPSEs achieved a CAPEX of ₹10,525.84 crores. The CAPEX in FY 2022-23 was the highest achieved by Steel CPSEs in the past five years.
The CAPEX target for FY 2023-24 is ₹10,300.85 crores (BE). Against this BE target, Steel CPSEs have achieved a CAPEX of ₹5414.51 crores till November 2023 (52.6%). The CAPEX progress is being monitored regularly and the CPSEs have been advised to ensure timely completion of projects and to achieve the physical and financial milestones.
(III) Government e-Marketplace (GeM): Procurement of goods and services through GeM by Steel CPSEs has increased over the year with the value of orders during April-November, 2023 being 20.8% higher over CPLY. Total procurement made between April-November 2023 stands at ₹10,126.90 crore.
(IV) MSME Payments: The status of pending payments to MSMEs by CPSEs of the Steel Ministry is being monitored on a weekly basis to ensure that the same may be credited timely. During the current fiscal year April 2023 to November 2023, 98% of MSMEs payments have been made within 45 days. During the aforesaid period, Steel’s CPSEs have made a payment of ₹4977.82 crore to MSMEs which is approx 5% higher than the payment of ₹4747.53 crore made during the corresponding period of last year.
(V) Mission Recruitment: 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 fulfill vacancies expeditiously. Under the Mission, 1389 direct recruitments have been made by Steel CPSEs mainly SAIL, NMDC, KIOCL, MOIL and MECON in 2023.
(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’ (SCDPM3.0), held from 2nd October 2023 to 31st October 2023. During the campaign, 2,34,915 sq. ft of space have been freed up by the Ministry of Steel and its CPSEs from the disposal of metallic and non-metallic scrap, paper and e-waste etc. 19432 physical files have been weeded out and 12207 e-files have been closed during campaign period. In addition, several pending PG appeals/PG grievances, MPs references etc were settled. Further, 261 Swachhta campaigns were carried out by the Ministry and its CPSEs.
(VII) Chintan Shivir: Ministry of steel organised 2 Chintan Shivir in this year on 17th February, 2023 and on 15th December, 2023. During the 1st Chintan Shivir held on 17.2.2023, deliberations were held on Raw material issues of Steel sector and Circular economy in steel sector, besides a session on soft skill and team building. The 2nd Chintan Shivir of the year 2023 was held on 15.12.2023 and topics of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM): Impact on Steel sector and Use of Emerging Technology –AI in steel sector were discussed.
(VIII) Meeting of Consultative Committee for Ministry of Steel: In Year 2023, four meeting of Consultative Committee for Ministry of Steel held under the chairmanship of Minister of Steel. In the first meeting of the year 2023 held on 6.3.2023, discussions were held on Secondary Steel Clusters. Further meetings were held on 28.4.2023 on ‘Logistics: Steel Sector’, 24.7.2023 on Status of Mutation, Digitisation and Encroachment on land parcel of CPSEs, and 23.11.2023 on ‘Branding of Indian steel’.
(IX) Steel Minister’s Advisory Group
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 Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia. 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. In this year, two meetings of the advisory group for ISPs and two meetings of the SSIs have been held.