India has emerged as the second-largest producer of crude steel by replacing Japan. The biggest steel producing country is currently China, which accounted for 57% of world steel production.
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- In order to support the domestic steel industry, the Government of India has notified the National Steel Policy, 2017, and the Policy for Providing Preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron and Steel (DMI & SP) in the case of state procurement. These policies have helped create a favorable environment to improve domestic production and consumption of steel.
- The Government has also issued quality control orders, prohibiting the manufacturing and import of cheap and substandard quality of steel. In addition, India has liberalised the coal mining sector which stands to greatly benefit the steel industry.
- India has also been inviting foreign entities to invest in the steel sector as India’s steel demand is expected to rise by 7.2 per cent in 2019-20. Going ahead, the demand growth for steel is expected to remain unchanged at 5.2 per cent in 2022-23.
- the Government of India has launched the Purvodaya programme which aims accelerated the development of eastern India through the establishment of an integrated steel hub.
- The eastern states of India – Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal – and the northern part of Andhra Pradesh hold about 80 per cent of the national iron ore reserves and nearly 100 per cent of coking coal as well as vast reserves of chromite, bauxite, and dolomite.
- There is also the presence of major ports such as Paradip, Haldia, Vizag, Kolkata, etc., with around 30 percent of India’s major port capacity. These resources and infrastructure can help the region come up as a major global exporting and industrial region, something the Purvodaya programme is targetting. In India’s march towards a US$5 trillion economy, the region can prove to be a major enabler.
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