Dumping transient challenge, improve competitiveness, Jaitley tells steel makers

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Saturday termed the large scale dumping of steel and the uncertain global markets as transient challenges and urged the secondary steel makers to look at the root cause and improve their competitiveness.

Speaking at the conference on “Roadmap to 300 Million Tonnes: Opportunities & Challenges for Secondary Steel Producers” organised by the steel ministry here, he outlined the challenges faced by Indian steelmakers owing to large scale dumping and uncertainty in the global market and urged them to overcome such “transient challenges” by strengthening their own competitiveness.

“Where economies exist on strong and solid foundation, it is not very challenging to withstand transient changes,” he said.

Referring to the cascading effect of stress in the steel sector that affects the performance of banks and the availability of funds for other sectors, Jaitley said the steel makers should improve their competitiveness and should not resort to “band-aid” measures.

Jaitley said it is no rocket science to predict the growth of steel sector.

Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the vision of increasing steel production from the current 110 million tonnes to 300 million tonnes cannot be realised without the active participation of the steel manufacturers.

As much as 55 percent of India’s steel production is accounted by the secondary steel makers but the sector is fraught with challenges in quality, environmental conformance, old technology, operational efficiency and under presence in flat steel segment.

Steel production has doubled in last ten years – from 43.44 million tonnes in 2004-05 to 88.12 million tonnes in 2014-15.

India is the third-largest steel producer in the world and envisions being the second largest producer soon.

The country is looking forward to triple its production capacity from 110 million tonnes presently to about 300 million tonnes in the next 10 years.

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