New Delhi: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Saturday the country’s steel sector is set to get an aggregate investment of $70 billion in the eastern region of the country through accelerated development of the sector. Launching the ‘Purvodaya’ programme here, Pradhan said that the investment will benefit underdeveloped districts in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, northern Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha and they need to be taken forward for the development of the steel sector.
East India has great potential for India’s steel sector
While noting that the eastern part of India is rich in mineral resources, Pradhan said that it has a great potential for the development of the steel industry and added that Bihar needs to be included in the list. According to the National Steel Policy announced in 2017, the government has aimed to scale up India’s total steel production capacity to 300 million tonne by 2030. Out of this, around 200 million tonne is envisaged from the five eastern states, he said.
90 MT steel produced in the East
Speaking at an event organised by CII, the minister said that the region has rich deposits of coal, iron ore and bauxite. “As much as 90 million tonne of steel is produced in the east, out of the total production volume of 140 million tonne in the country,” he said. Steel Additional Secretary Rasika Chaube said that East India has a “natural advantage and potential” and will play a crucial role in mapping India’s progress to $5-trillion economy by 2024-25, as has been envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She said the ‘Purvodaya’ programme would also address the logistics and infrastructure bottlenecks in the eastern region. It also seeks to set up greenfield plants and expansion of brownfield ones and constructing of clusters near the demand centres, Chaube noted. “Task forces have also been set up for setting up pilot projects under the aegis of the steel ministry and inter-ministerial consultations will be held for the proposed clusters,” she said.
PSU CMDs say eastern India has great potential
Coal India chairman and managing director Anil Jha said that the miner has been focusing on minimising the imports of the fuel. “For this, we are looking to produce 900 million tonnes of coal by 2023-24 from the current level of 607 million tonnes,” Jha said. SAIL CMD AK Chaudhary said the company has a strong presence in the east with five steel plants having production volume of 20 million tonnes, while Indian Oil Corporation CMD Sanjiv Singh said the expansion of the gas and oil pipelines will boost demand for steel consumption. “Oil and gas has a strong linkage with the steel sector,” he said.
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