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Binoy Kumar  

The Union Steel Ministry is concerned over the low level of per capita steel consumption in India, according to Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar.

“Per capita steel consumption of steel in India at 69 kg [according to Joint Plant Committee data] is still low compared to the world average of 214 kg... this is our concern ,” he said at the inaugural session of the 56th National Metallurgists’ Day.

In an interaction with the media, he said that nearly 10 kg had been added to the per capita consumption since 2014 and talks were being held with all ministries concerned to boost this. He said that the ongoing infrastructure projects across several sectors were expected to increase steel use.

“We are not supporting imports and have asked all PSUs to procure domestic steel if it is available. Over Rs. 8,000 crore was saved through lower imports over the last year-and-a-half by major PSUs such as ONGC, GAIL and Railways,” Mr. Kumar said. He, however, emphasised that the Indian steel industry had to gear up to be able to compete globally without any support.

Bats for innovation

“Industry has to invest in innovation, research and value-addition,” he said.

Tata Steel CEO T.V Narendran said that four areas — technology (and its metallurgical and digital dimensions), sustainability, human resources and the development of the capital goods sector — were important for the metal sector.

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