Steel demand to increase as India embarks to become $5 trillion economy: Petroleum Minister, Pradhan

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The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the demand of steel in the country has seen substantial increase and is expected to increase further in the future as India embarks to become a US $ 5 trillion economy.

Addressing the Ministerial Meeting of Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity in Tokyo, Pradhan said India’s demand for Steel shall be a driver of its capacity expansion. “I wish to emphasise that with rapid economic & infrastructural development in India, the demand of steel has seen substantial increase and is expected to increase further in the future as embarks to become a US $ 5 trillion economy by 2024.

Furthermore, India is committed to spend about US $ 1.4 trillion on its infrastructure development in the next five years. All this augurs well for the steel demand in the country. We are determined to raise the per capita consumption of steel from its current low of 72 kg per capita to 160 kg per capita by 2030. India’s demand for steel shall always be the driver of its capacity expansion”, he said.

“We are mindful and conscious of the problems, which originate from excess capacity, and thus respect the principles laid down by this forum.”, he added.

On the global situation, the minister said that Steel excess capacity had a devastating effect on the industry globally during the crisis of 2015. After a brief recovery during 2016-18, again, the global steel industry is passing through a difficult phase. Therefore, it is important that we take suitable measures to avoid a repeat of the situation of 2015.

Pradhan said that the Berlin Ministerial recommended that the market-distorting subsidies and support measures that distort competition should be identified and removed. It also advised that Governments must not intervene to create such distortions in the market. He mentioned that Transparency, enhanced communication and cooperation are steps in the right direction.

Global Forum may address relevant steel-related issues, as economies are linked intrinsically with this sector. “We all have a collective responsibility to address the concerns of the steel sector,” Pradhan added. On the sidelines of the meeting, the Minister met the European Union Head of delegation Ms Sandra Gallina, Deputy Director General of Trade, European commission.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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