The Meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee Attached to the Ministry of Steel and Mines was held under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Steel and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Bengaluru, Karnataka on 7th July 2015. Welcoming the members of the Consultative Committee on Ministry of Steel and Mines, in the garden city of Bengaluru to discuss on the R&D in Indian Steel sector and Enhancing Exploration, Shri Tomar said, so far India was the 4th largest steel producer in the world only after China, Japan and the US. However, during the first five months of this calendar year, India has achieved the 3rd position in the global steel production. He elaborated that Indian steel industry is growing at a reasonably good pace and last year the growth in crude steel production in India is more than 8%. However, per capita steel consumption is quite low, 60 Kg as against the world average of 216 kg. The low consumption no doubt indicates huge growth potential for Indian steel industry. India has fixed a target of 300 million tonnes production capacity by 2025 and steel ministry is working out action plan and strategies to achieve this target, he informed the members.
Shri Tomar further said, Indian steel industry is already in expansion mode. The older steel plants are being modernized and expended. New green field plants are also coming with state of the art technologies. He told the members that very recently the Prime Minister dedicated the India’s largest Blast Furnace of 4160 Cubic Meter, installed at IISCO Steel plant at Burnpur and several Blast Furnaces of around 4000 Cubic Meter with world class efficiency parameters are in the operation in the country.
On Research and Development to sustain the long term growth of the Indian steel industry, he said the problems in raw material area need to be addressed to utilize low grade ore and high ash coal through R&D and technology interventions. He stressed the need to pursue R&D for development of value added products for which we are dependent on import. Secondary steel sector is also requiring R&D interventions, he said. “We have also issued an advisory to all the large steel companies to step up R&D and enhance R&D investment up to 1% of their sales turnover. SAIL has corporate R&D center at Ranchi. RINL is also expending R&D infrastructure. Large private sector companies have also setup good R&D facilities for addressing their problems,” the Minister informed the members.
‘Ministry of Steel is facilitating for setting up of a new institution SRTMI and is contributing 50% in the corpus of SRTMI to spear head R&D of national importance. In-principle approval for setting up of SRTMI has been given and CEOs of major Indian Steel Companies have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Ministry of Steel for participation and financial contribution in the initiative with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore. Indian iron and steel industry will meet the set target of steel production of 300 million tonne by 2025 by developing new path breaking technology and using of Indian raw materials through R&D at pilot/ demonstration scale’, Shri Tomar explained.
Addressing the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Steel and Mines to discuss Research and Development in iron and steel sector in India, Shri Rakesh Singh Secretary Steel said the ministry is facilitating growth and development of steel industry through various policy measures. The Ministry of Steel has fixed a target to increase steel production capacity to 300 million tonne by 2025. The target is no doubt is very ambitious and Ministry of Steel is taking follow up action in this regards. Several plants have already been expanded and SAIL is in the process of modernizing and expending its capacity from the present level of 12.8 million Tonne to 21.4 million tonne. He informed that R&D scenario in steel sector is improving. More dedicated Research and Technology Development programs would however, be required and we are targeting that the steel companies must spend 1% of their sales turnover on R&D to amply and meet the requirements of make in India program through zero defect and zero effect.
The Secretary Mines Shri Balvender Kumar informed the members that the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Act, 2015 became necessary to address the emergent problems in the mining industry. The Amendment removes discretion in the grant of mineral concessions. All mineral concessions are granted by the respective State Governments now through auctions, thereby bringing in greater transparency and removing discretion. This should also mean that the Government will get an increased share from the mining sector. He said, the Amendment Act 2015 makes it mandatory to establish a District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in all districts where mining takes place. Contribution to the DMF of an amount not exceeding one-third of the royalty rate in so far as new concessions to be granted by auction are concerned and not exceeding the royalty in respect of existing concessions has been provided for. Talking about exploration, Shri Balvender Kumar said, Indian mining industry has not seen the type of exploration as in other countries. To address this, the Amendment Act has provided for a National Mineral Exploration Trust created out of contribution from the mining lease holders. This would allow the Government to have a dedicated fund for undertaking exploration. National Mineral Exploration Trust is being set up for providing impetus to exploration in mining sector. In addition, the transferability provision (in respect of Mining Leases to be granted through auction) would permit flow of greater investment to the sector and increasing efficiency in mining.
On Stringent provisions against illegal mining, he said, all offences under the Act will now be subject to a maximum punishment of 5 years imprisonment or fine of Rs. 5.00 lakhs per hectare.
Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State in the Ministry Of Steel and Mines was also present in the meeting.
The Members of Lok Sabha who attended the meeting and provided their suggestions included
Dr. Anupam Hazra
Shri Bidyut Baran Mahato
Shri Bodh Singh Bhagat
Shri Janardan Singh Sigriwal
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey
Sardar Sher Singh Ghubaya
Shri Shyama Charan Gupta
And the Members of Rajya Sabha who attended the meeting and participated in discussions included
Smt. Gundu Sudharani
Shri Husain Dalwai
Shri Tapan Kumar Sen
Shri V. Hanumantha Rao
• India is the 4th largest steel producer with Production: 88.25 MT in 2014-15.
• In the first 5 months of 2015, India has become the 3rd largest steel producer.
• India is on track to emerge as the 2nd largest steel producer soon.
• Per Capita steel consumption in India is about 60 kg against world average of 216 kg. Justifies higher growth potential.
• India has set target of production capacity of 300 MT by year 2025.
• Enhanced R&D investments & adoption of new technologies are imperative for competitiveness of Indian steel industry.