Minister asks foreign companies to set up manufacturing units

Bhubaneswar: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Tuesday said foreign companies can immensely benefit by setting up manufacturing units in India as the country has set a target to produce 300 million tonne of steel by 2030-31.

Singh said this while addressing a conclave on Capital Goods for Steel Sector here. The conclave was attended by 28 participants from different foreign countries.

“In view of the proposed additional capacity in the next 10-12 years, Indian steel industry is expected to invest 128 billion USD for creation of new capacity,” Singh said adding that India will have to import large number of critical plants and equipment valued almost 25 billion USD to meet needs of its steel industry by 2030-31.

The Steel minister said spares worth over 500 million USD will have to be imported every year to meet the needs of India’s steel industry by 2030-31.

The opportunity offered by Indian steel industry must be utilised by the capital goods manufacturers, foreign technology providers and equipment manufacturers, he said.

“They (foreign companies) can set up manufacturing facilities in India on their own or through joint venture/ collaboration with Indian capital goods manufacturers,” the minister said.

Stating that it will be a win-win situation, Singh said the multinational companies will bring fresh investments and latest technology to produce equipment and spares of world class quality at a global competitive rate.

He said India can also save a lot of foreign exchange if the steel industries get their required machines and equipment from within the country instead of depending on the foreign based industries.

Making claims that Indian steel sector has a lot of potentials even as the steel production in other countries including China are now being curtailed, Singh said Global Forum for Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC), of which India had been a co-chair country, has also acknowledged country’s stand point.

Justifying his claim, Singh said there has been rise in the rate of steel consumption by 7 per cent in last four years and 7.9 per cent in last 2 years in the country. The steel production at the same time is also increasing in India.

The steel production is being increased at the rate of 6.7 per cent, he pointed out.

The per capita steel consumption is now 68.3 kg against 58 kg four years ago, he said.

“So our initiative to domestically meet the demand of capital goods for steel sector is a well thought strategy to develop India into a Global Manufacturing Hub for steel plant equipment and machinery,” he said.

The proposed setting up of the facilities will not only reduce imports but this will have force multiplier impact in long term sustainability of steel industry in India, he said.

In the conclave, 38 MoUs including about a dozen by foreign companies, were signed worth investment of Rs 39,400 crore in the Capital Goods for Steel Sector.

“The foreign manufacturers will enter into a JV with an Indian firm can get advantage of purchase preference.

Indian manufacturers will also benefit from foreign investment and technology and also get to fulfil the eligibility condition of experience,” the Union Steel Minister said.

Union Heavy Industry and Public Sector Enterprises Minister Anant Gangaram Geete, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Chief Minister addressed the gathering.

Adam Szewczyk, Head – Economic and Statistical Analysis of the World Steel Association said India steel demand is set to develop in the short and medium term due to favourable macro-economic conditions and ambitious reform agenda. It will be very soon the second biggest market in the world, he said.

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