NEW DELHI: 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 today, Pradhan said India’s demand for Steel shall be a driver of its capacity expansion. “I wish to emphasize 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.
On the issue of the steel excess capacity, Pradhan said that steel sector in India is deregulated and is driven by market forces. As it is well known, India does not contribute or suffer from excess capacity.
“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. He appreciated the members of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity for putting forth considerable effort in the process of information sharing and the review thereof.
Pradhan said the members’ willingness to share data on capacity and information on various direct and indirect support measures deserves praise.
“This is a unique first-time effort. Information sharing has enabled in formulating better response in terms of improvements for the global steel industry. It also improved our ability to understand the problem of global steel excess capacity,” he added.
He called for making concerted efforts to ensure that all actions are in line with fair international trade practices.
Pradhan said that the Berlin Ministerial recommended that the market distorting subsidies and support measures which 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 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 Sandra Gallina, Deputy Director General of Trade, European commission.