Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan today said that ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is about transforming India from being just a passive market to an active manufacturing hub at the heart of global value chains. Addressing the 119th annual general meeting of Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry today, he said that an Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a strong Bharat with robust manufacturing sector, self-reliant yet globally integrated economy. A Self-reliant India will be a Force Multiplier for the global economy, he added. When India speaks of becoming self-reliant, it doesn’t advocate a self-centred system. In India’s self-reliance, there is a concern for the whole world’s happiness, cooperation and peace, the minister said.
The Minister said that India cannot become Aatmanirbhar without the eastern India becoming self-reliant. He said that Purvodaya- eastern India has to drive the national growth. “Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has emphasized the need for focused development of the Eastern India to harness the untapped potential of this region to fuel next wave of national growth. This is the essence of Mission Purvodaya. Both petroleum as well as steel sector have to play an important role in Mission Purvodaya”, he said.
Shri Pradhan said that under Mission Purvodaya, we are building an Integrated Steel Hub in eastern India which would add to the competitiveness of the steel sector and facilitate regional development with job creation. “The steel clusters will drive employment opportunities across the value chain, creating both direct and indirect jobs and spurring entrepreneurship, including in under-developed areas. It will spur development of other manufacturing industries and will be accompanied with social infrastructure in the form of cities, schools, hospitals, skilling centers etc.”, he added.
Shri Pradhan said that the steel industry serves as a backbone to the country and Steel continues to play an important role in our country as we seek to build a modern economy. Indian steel sector is seeking to fulfil all the domestic requirements and also emerge as a major player at the global stage. He said that despite being the world’s second largest producer of steel, India’s annual per capita steel consumption is 74.1 kg and is one-third the global average (224.5kg). He said that there is an excellent opportunity for India to increase its steel consumption and avail advantages of greater steel use such as reduced life cycle cost increased durability and greater environment sustainability.
Shri Pradhan said that Ministry of Steel has launched a collaborative branding campaign ‘Ispati Irada’ with the objective of promoting appropriate steel usage in the country. This aims to leverage usage of steel as an easy-to-use, environment-friendly, cost-effective, affordable and strength-giving material. He said “we are giving boost to domestic sourcing of iron and steel products by the central Government organisations by mandating preference. Through this DMI&SP Policy, steel imports worth more than Rs. 20,000 cr. have so far been avoided. We are working to ensure raw material security for the sector. We are diversifying our sources of coking coal imports. We have come up with steel scrap policy which provides a framework to facilitate and promote establishment of metal scrapping centres in India for scientific processing & recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources and a variety of products. The Policy framework provides standard guidelines for collection, dismantling and shredding activities in an organized, safe and environmentally sound manner.