Indian steel cos to forge pacts with global firms to expand

Leading domestic steel producing companies, including SAIL, JSPL and Mecon Ltd, are set to sign more than 20 MoUs with top global companies this week for producing capital goods. This could lead to substitution of an estimated $5 billion in imported equipment over the next decade in line with the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“Top global companies from Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Japan are participating in the steel conclave in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. They will forge joint ventures with Indian companies,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The MoUs, to be signed at the event being co-organised by the Steel Ministry, CII and Mecon, will focus on increasing self-reliance of the capital goods sector in diversifying its produce to meet the needs of the domestic industry.

“The government is focussed on reducing import dependence through the ‘Make in India’ programme. The MoUs to be signed by Indian companies will be a firm step in this direction as it will help them diversify through expansion of their production facilities and produce the equipment so far being imported,” the official said.

Minister for Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh; Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu; Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete; and Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan are scheduled to address the conclave. The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik will be the keynote speaker.

As per the National Steel Policy – 2017, India needs to create 300 million tonnes of steel capacity by 2030-31 against the existing 130 mt. The estimated import of plant and equipment, for reaching 300 mt capacity, will be around $25 billion. Further, for meeting the spares requirement, India will have to spend about $500 million annually for import of proprietary and other spares.

“The move towards increasing self-sufficiency in capital goods and substituting imports with domestic produce could go a long way in saving foreign exchange and also boosting the economy and creation of jobs,” the official said.