The issues being faced by engineering sector were discussed in detail during a meeting which was attended by Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, senior officials of both the ministries, top steelmakers and representatives of engineering export sector.
The steel minister has also called for snatching opportunities from competitors like China to emerge as a global player in steel.
India's total steel production in the year 2016 was around 95 MT. The ministry's target is to reach the 240 MT production and 300 MT capacity target by 2030-31.
"Two references regarding irregularities in award of tender by NMDC for Inter Plant Pipeline and Gas Mixing and Boosting Station at Nagarnar Iron and Steel Plant, Nagarnar have been received in the Ministry," Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
As per the production targets in National Steel Policy 2017, the coking coal requirement is projected to increase from the current level of around 60 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 160 MTPA.
The concerns were expressed at a recent meeting of the ministry with the Prime Minister's Office, a government official said. "Electricity being a major input for steel industry will increase the cost of manufacturing if it remains out of the GST," the official said.
The Steel Ministry is likely to take to the Union Cabinet this month a proposal that seeks to provide preferential treatment to steel made in India in government projects.
Sajjan Jindal hinted that the worst is behind the steel makers with a recent surge in demand and prices, which is reflected in the numbers showing a jump in exports.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Finance Ministry and Steel Ministry are joining hands to tackle the stress in steel sector, the focus is on the large non-performing assets (NPAs) in the sector.
The steel ministry is working closely with the NITI Aayog on pricing the country‘s natural resources like iron ore, coking coal, coal, gas, among others in such a way that there is a clear line between profit and profiteering, said Steel Secretary, Aruna Sharma in an interview to CNBC-TV18.
The move is aimed at raising domestic steel consumption as India's per capita steel usage -- at 61 kg -- is much lower than the global average of 208 kg.
The government expects the move to boost sales of local companies such as JSW Steel and Tata Steel , and eventually attract global steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal and POSCO to invest in the country, five steel ministry sources told Reuters.
The government is examining the possibility of country's largest steel maker SAIL undertaking 'operation and maintenance' of ailing Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd till the lenders are able to find a buyer for the company.
"I was surprised to see that the top management of these PSUs rarely interacted with the other PSUs. There are areas like storage space for material where under-utilisation can be overcome if they share resources," the Steel Minister told PTI.
The Steel Ministry has asked the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to evaluate taking over Monnet Ispat, sources close to the development told CNBC-TV18.
The ministry had uploaded the draft policy on the website, seeking suggestions from the stakeholders.
The steel industry is burdened by an increase in input costs due to high coking coal prices.
Moneycontrol had on January 12 reported that the Steel Ministry may not recommend a further extension of minimum import price (MIP) on the metal beyond February as it does not see the relevance of the trade barrier now.
As steel companies feeling the heat from surge in coking coal prices, the Steel Ministry has approached Coal Ministry to seek availability of metallurgical coal on long-term basis, a top official said.
Ahead of the Union Budget 2017-18, the Steel Ministry has sought reduction in import duty on both coking coal and nickel -- vital components of steel making -- a move that may revive the sector, a top official said.
The earlier deadline expired today and the present extension was necessitated as licensing process by BIS would take some more time, the Steel Ministry said in a statement.
Steel consumption in the world's third largest producer of the metal fell by 0.5 per cent to 7.11 million tonnes last month compared to September 2016, while on a year-on-year basis, it fell by 1.4 per cent over October 2015, latest data from the Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee (JPC) showed.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) recently came out with the order, which stipulates a mandatory registration with the state-run quality control body. It also prohibits manufacture, import, storage, sale and distribution of stainless steel products by trade and industry without such registration.