By Our Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has asked the Steel industry in the country to work towards the mission of Green Steel. In his inaugural address in the ISA Steel Conclave 2019 organised by Indian Steel Association in New Delhi on Thursday, he said “As a responsible nation, we are contributing towards mitigating climate change. We have set an ambitious plan of achieving 450GW capacity of renewable energy. I appeal to the industry to work towards achieving the mission of “Green Steel”. Industry must deploy technology, innovation to develop environment friendly processes.”
The minister said that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has launched Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project in the Eastern India, which can provide gas to all the Steel plants, located in the area. Being an environment-friendly and affordable fuel, the Steel industry should move towards it, replacing coal.
Emphasising the vital role of steel in building a modern economy, the Minister said, “World is in midst of industrial revolution 4.0. Big data, digitisation, artificial intelligence are fundamentally changing the economy and society. Even in wake of such large-scale disruptions, steel continues to play an important role in building modern economy.”
Speaking about India’s economic transition, he said, “Our Government under the leadership of Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is decisive, reformist and visionary. Working with India’s entrepreneurial spirit with an Ispati Irada, we are on our way to realise Hon. PM Narendra Modi ji’s vision of a $5 trillion economy.” He expressed the confidence that the country will achieve the target by 2024. Shri Pradhan said that the industry should realize its potential and strength, and harness it in a big way.
On steel consumption in the country, Minister Pradhan said “Steel usage in India is set to rise. We have launched a collaborative campaign “Ispati Irada” for brand building to increase appropriate usage of steel in the country. Welfare missions of the Government will further give impetus to steel usage in the country.” He said that there is proposal to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure, which will involve lot of steel consumption. He said that Indian economy is consumption-driven, and as the economy size increase, the steel consumption is going to get big impetus.
Speaking about India’s ambition to be a net exporter, Minister Pradhan said, “There is no reason, why can’t we be net exporter in steel sector. For our nation to develop, we must promote domestic industry and be a net exporter of steel.” He said the Government is a facilitator, and it will continue to help the industry in overcoming various obstacles. He called the steel industry to promote localization, and do the hand-holding for the ancillary sector. He called upon the industry to think about pooling their resources and developing the common carrier facilities.
Describing the recent decision to opt out of RCEP as a sweetener for the industry, he said, “Prime Minister’s decision to opt out of RCEP in its present form has again reinforced that for our Government. the national interest is paramount.
This move has been received well by all stakeholders of our economy. This decision will ensure support to India’s varied sectors including steel.” On the recent decision of the Government to reduce its stake in various public sector companies, Shri Pradhan said that the Government has no business to be in the business. The Minister said that the PSUs have to become more competitive and productive, as their ownership wrests with the common man of the country
A report on the “Status of Indian Steel Industry” was released on the occasion.
ISA STEEL AWARDS under various categories were presented by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
1) Rakhi Mazumdar Assistant Editor Economic Times and Madhu Meeta Mukherjee, Editor, Steel 360 bagged Award for “Excellence in Steel Journalism”.
2) Dr. Balamuralikrishnan Scientist Defence, Metallurgical Research laboratories DMLR Hyderabad won Award for “Outstanding Researcher (Steel) in an Academic Institute/ R&D Labs.”
3) Ramkrishna Forgings Ltd. is the winner for Award for “Excellence in Innovation by Downstream Steel Industry”.
4) Larsen and Toubro won the Award for “Excellence in Domestic Sales by Downstream Steel Industry”.