A strict quality regime needed

It has been my endeavour that there should be a strict Quality regime in Indian steel industry for health and safety of the steel consumers, whether it be stainless steel, construction grade steel or other steel products. We have brought certain products under Quality Control Order and are gradually expanding the scope by bringing in more and more products under BIS certification.
Ministry of Steel is working on creating capacities for making special grade steels like electrical and auto-grade, with the objective of self-sufficiency and import substitution. I am of the firm view that Research and Development is a key growth driver for steel industry and we are pulling out all stops to promote R&D for market-driven growth. Steel companies have been asked to aim for attaining national and international benchmarks of performance and profitability. These decisions will make our Steel companies internationally competitive and capable of exporting high quality, value-added products from India.
In January 2017, we have released the Draft “National Steel Policy 2017” and have sought feedback and comments from different stakeholders. It aims at increasing per capita steel consumption in India to 160 kilogram and India’s steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31.
We need to also have a strategy for increasing steel demand for which support from Ministries influencing usage of steel is essential. I am glad to share that the support from Ministries has been forthcoming as per our expectations ---
whether it be Ministry of  Rural Development mandating use of steel in rural houses, Ministry of Urban Development in promotion of steel usage in  constructions, Ministry of  Railways agreeing to examine options for increasing steel use and Ministry of  Road Transport & Highways looking into using steel in road bridges, highways etc in response to our proposals.
Ministry of Steel is also approaching the concerned departments for promoting use of steel-intensive bridges / bailey bridges and steel crash barriers alongside roads. We have been in talks with different State Governments in hilly states, to discuss ways and means to minimize fatalities in accidents by use of crash barriers alongside roads.
Detailed technical studies are underway to arrive at optimal specifications of crash barriers depending on state-specific factors like topography and geography. Steel can also be used in place of conventional RCC bridges and concrete barriers respectively, to take advantages of lower cost, quicker installation and longer life span.
We have suggested that Indian Railways can enhance steel usage in making railway stations, foot over bridges, rail coaches, construction of steel based railway colony buildings, especially in seismic zones, construction of dedicated freight corridors & superfast rail corridors, thereby saving time & CAPEX.
MyGov platform has been helpful in crowd sourcing ideas for increasing consumption of steel, some of which are indeed innovative and actionable. We are working on these ideas.
We are working on short term plans and targets on half-yearly, yearly and 3-year basis for faster monitoring and implementation.
All these efforts are yielding rich dividends in the form of India leading the growth trend in production and consumption of steel in major steel producing countries of the world.  Last year, Edwin Basson, Director-general of the World Steel Association (WSA) stated that there was really only one location that had the long-term potential to pull the global steel market out of its current slump, and that was India.
To sum up, behind the success of all the initiatives, strategies, decisions and proposals of Ministry of Steel, one major contributing factor has been the continuous support from the partner Ministries. So these bonds of steel are underlying all Inter-Ministerial deliberations and outcomes. Let me go one step further and assert that Ministry of Steel is only a case in point, and I can say with confidence that this camaraderie, this partnership and this understanding is the hallmark of each Ministry under the Narendra Modi Government. (Concluded/Author is the Union Minister for Steel, Government of India/PIB)

Wednesday, 15 February, 2017