240-mn-tonne steel production targeted by 2020

December 12th, 2008 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) The Indian government is targeting steel production of 240 million tonnes by 2020 - double of what was originally envisaged, parliament was told Friday.”We had originally targeted production of 120 million tonnes by 2020. Now, we will achieve this by 2011-12. By 2020, we hope to achieve production of 240 million tonnes,” Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

India currently produces some 60 million tonnes of steel annually.

“We were at eighth place (among global steel producers), and now we are at fifth,” the minister said.

Responding to a supplementary from Gireesh Kumar Sanghi of the Congress on the steps being taken to prevent the dumping of Chinese steel in India in view of the falling global prices, Paswan said: “We are talking to the industry about this and taking measures through a new package to protect the infrastructure sector so that it does not sustain any losses.

“There are two ways to do this; by doing away with the export duty and imposing an import duty and we have done both,” the minister added.

According to him, the price of hot rolled (HR) coil steel had come down from Rs.50,000 per tonne to Rs.41,000 per tonne and that of thermo-mechanically treated (TMT) steel from Rs.47,000 a tonne to Rs.37,000 a tonne.

Replying to a supplementary from N.K. Singh of the Janata Dal-United on whether the government had a credible mechanism on demand-supply management in view of the global meltdown, Paswan said: “It depends on specific situations.”

At the same time, he felt that the economic crisis “would not have so much effect” on India’s steel industry.

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