Union minister of steel, Birender Singh on Saturday has assured that the Rs 70-crore steel plant of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) in the Kandrori area of Kangra district would be operational in a month. Singh made the announcement at a press conference here. He also used the occasion to announce that for the first time exports of steel in India have increased over imports by 1.5%.
The plant was proposed when the incumbent chief minister Virbhadra Singh held the steel portfolio at the Centre. The foundation stone was laid in 2009. The plant could not go operational before because of various reasons including opposition from defence forces near Kandrori. But the impediments were cleared in 2015. The Union minister said that the plant would initially manufacture TMT bars and provide employment to about 700 youths. The plant initially was conceived to produce steel moulding products as steel sheets for roofs.
The union minister further said that government of India has adopted a national steel policy under which it plans to increase domestic production of steel from the current 124 lakh MT to 300 lakh MT by 2031.
The government also intends to increase per capita steel consumption from 64 kg to 208 kg. He said that the steel ministry contributes to about 2 % of the total GDP of the country. "The NDA government after coming to power has imposed minimum import price on steel and also introduced anti- dumping duty to check dumping of steel in the Indian market by China," he said.
Source: Times of India