Metals & mining sector can play important role in Atmanirbhar Bharat, says Pradhan

New Delhi: Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday that the metals and mining sector can play an important role in the making of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. Speaking at the 58th National Metallurgists Day and at the 74th Annual Technical Meeting of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM), he said that this is a vibrant and growing sector, and it holds a tremendous amount of potential and promise of growth not only for the sector but for the economy as well.

Talking about Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said that it does not mean an India which is isolated. Atmanirbhar Bharat envisions grand, vibrant India, which does not only fulfill its requirements but also meets the expectations of the global community in the true spirit of Vasudhaiv Kutumbukam. He said that PM Narendra Modi from the temple of Indian democracy talked about the importance of wealth creators. “If the industry, government, and academia all work together for the betterment of our society and nation, we can surely realize the vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

Pradhan said that the Production Linked Scheme (PLI) has been announced for specialty steel by the government and this is a major reform in the sector for boosting indigenous production. Inviting the industry to take full advantage of this path-breaking initiative, the minister called upon for developing a new manufacturing ecosystem in the country.

The minister said that the country is very rich in mineral resources. He said that the government is very clear that the natural resources of the country belong to its citizens. “Thus, we adopted a transparent, accountable mechanism for allocation of natural resources.”

Pradhan said that coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are gradually moving towards more promising times. The past year was a test of our determination and what the country can do with collective efforts. He said that while dealing with the pandemic and ensuring the welfare of the poor is taken care of, the Prime Minister made a clarion call of building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Describing the Budget 2021, Pradhan said that it provides an unprecedented focus on infrastructure creation for the future. He said that this will certainly result in increased demand for steel. Investments in core sectors like railways, roadways, and petroleum and natural gas, which have the potential for spurring demand for metals, have seen a healthy increase across the board.

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The minister said that there is a need to develop intellectual property and technology in the areas of advanced steels and alloys, so that the critical requirements are satisfied indigenously, and the export horizon expands for creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat. He said that the role of the research and development establishments and academic institutes in generating intellectual property and technologies is vital. “We are also working to create a world-class facility for metallurgical engineering and development of human resources for the steel sector. The centres of excellence have been approved to be set up in IITs. Steel Research and Technology Mission of India has been set up to promote joint collaborative research projects of national importance in iron and steel sector,” said the minister.

Congratulating the IIM for its platinum jubilee, the minister said that it is a matter of pride that an institution, which was established in 1946, before the independence of India, is still flourishing and contributing to the development of the country. He said that by creating an excellent spirit of collaboration, partnership and synergy between the three pillars of industry, academia and R&D, IIM has played an important role in the journey of Indian metallurgy and contributed immensely to nation-building.  He called upon the IIM to play a key role in developing technical acumen, bringing in innovation, developing skilled manpower in the steel industry. He urged for enhancing the existing strategy for indigenization and innovation to substantially enhance contribution to “Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

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