Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh has said that India's steel exports should rise to 6-7 percent of total production, in the coming years, from the present 1.5 percent. He noted that the steel industry, which was in trouble till recently primarily due to excess production in China, is now stabilising following protective measures by the government like the minimum import price and anti-dumping duty.
The minister also pointed out that in the last one year, the country has been able to reduce steel imports by nearly 40 percent, and has also become a net exporter of steel. Besides, he indicated that India was lagging behind in research and innovation technology with regard to steel production. Therefore, he said that a cabinet note will be moved next week for putting up the Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) to boost research and development in the sector.
Singh further said that the steel ministry is planning to merge all its research bodies under an umbrella institute SRTMI. He also said that the government had earlier said the initial corpus for setting up of SRTMI is Rs 200 crore of which 50 percent is to be provided by the steel ministry and the balance by the participating steel companies. According to the ministry's report, the exports of total finished steel during April-December of 2017-18 were up by 52.9 percent to 7.606 million tonnes.