Year End Review 2020 –Ministry of Steel
Steel Import Monitoring System extended to all HS codes
Approval of Production Linked Incentive Scheme for specialty steel
Supply of steel to MSMEs at export parity price
Enhancing the availability of Quality Steel to the users: Quality Control Order on Steel issued
Amendments / additions to the Policy notified for Providing Preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products in Government Procurement
The major achievements of the ministry of Steel during the year 2020 are as follows:
- Extension of Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) to all HS codes of Chapter 72, 73 and 86- SIMS which was notified on 5th Sept 2019, has now been extended to all 808 ITC-HS codes of Chapter 72, 73 and 86, from an earlier 284 HS codes. A notification to this effect was issued by DGFT on 28th Sept 2020. This would serve to provide advance information about steel and steel products imports to the Government as well as the domestic industry.
- Sale of iron ore by SAIL- In compliance to the Ministry of Mines permission to SAIL for selling iron ore from its captive mines, the PSU in 2020 initiated the process of sale and has managed to auction close to 2 Million Tons iron ore from its captive mines in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. This has served to improve the availability of iron ore in the country especially during the current times of iron ore shortage.
- Approval of Production Linked Incentive Scheme for specialty steel- Although India is a net exporter of steel in terms of quantity, it still remains a net importer of ‘specialty steel’ owing to limited or nil production capacity for steel grades such as high strength steel, electrogalvanized steel, heat-treated steel, asymmetrical rails, bearing steel, valve steel, tool & die steel etc. In order to incentivize production of such ‘specialty steel’ grades, the Union Cabinet on 11th Nov 2020 approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for specialty steel grades. It is envisaged that the PLI scheme shall boost the production of identified specialty steel grades from the current 16 MTPA to over 37MTPA in 5 years, while attracting investments of over Rs 35,000 Cr. This would not only result in overall contribution to achieving the USD 5 Trillion economy, but would directly boost employment in the country owing to huge multiplier effect of steel.
- Supply of steel to MSMEs at export parity price- Vide Ministry of Steel orders dated 24th June 2020, an arrangement has been worked out between primary steel producers and MSME members of Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) for supply of 1 MTPA steel at export parity price. DGFT has also issued an order enabling supply of steel by dealers/ stockyards of primary steel producers for the purpose of Advanced Release Order (ARO) invalidation under Advanced Authorization scheme. This arrangement shall reduce the cost of steel for EEPC members by 10-15%.
- Enhancing the availability of Quality Steel to the users: Quality Control Order on Steel- Ministry of Steel has introduced Steel Quality Control Order thereby banning sub-standard/ defective steel products both from domestic & imports to ensure the availability of quality steel to the industry, users and public at large. As per the Order, it is ensured that only quality steel conforming to the relevant BIS standards is made available to the end users. As on date 145 Indian Standards have been notified under the Quality Control Order covering carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel. In addition, goods & articles made up of steel such as stainless-steel pipe & tubes, laminations/ cores of transformers, products of tin plate & tin free steel etc have also been notified to prevent circumvention of the Steel Quality Control Order. During the year 2020, seventy-eight additional Indian Standards have been notified under the Quality Control Order.
- India and Japan signed Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Steel Industry- The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in the field of steel industry between the Ministry of Steel, Government of India and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan was signed on 22nd December 2020.The MOC will promote the development of cooperation in steel sector between two countries through joint activities under the framework of India Japan Steel Dialogue. The activities will cover several areas of mutual interest including trade and investment, capacity building, sharing of experiences and best practices in steel uses and workplace safety and energy efficiency cooperation.
- Project Development Cell: PDC has been formed in the Ministry of Steel to attract investment in the steel sector of India. PDC is actively involved in identifying potential investors and facilitating them for investing in the steel sector of the country. Projects with total investment of over Rs 1200 crores are in various stages of grounding.
- Amendment to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products Policy: In line with the Government of India’s objective of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, Ministry of Steel in Dec 2020 notified amendments / additions to the Policy for Providing Preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products in Government Procurement (revised, 2019). The amendments / additions have been made in order to further broaden the scope of the policy to promote Make in India in the steel sector. The latest policy amendment mandates procurement of only domestic steel for projects exceeding Rs 5 lacs in value. Domestic steel has been defined as one which has been manufactured in India and having domestic value addition ranging from 15-50%. EPC contracts have also been covered under the revised policy. DMISP Policy has so far led to import substitution of more than Rs 21000 Cr worth of steel which implies that more and more domestic steel is being used in Government procurement thereby creating more job opportunities in the country apart from strengthening the economy.
- Enhancing the Safety of the Iron & Steel Sector- Safety is an important aspect in functioning of any industry. A set of 25 common minimum Safety Guidelines for the Iron & Steel Sector was formulated by the Ministry of Steel.These Safety Guidelines are at par with the global standards and compliant with the requirements of the ILO Code of practice on safety in the Iron & Steel industry. These guidelines in the form of a book viz. “Safety Guidelines for the Iron & Steel Sector”, was unveiled by the Steel Minister on 17th February 2020. The stakeholders from the Indian steel Industry and its associations have been urged to adopt these guidelines wholeheartedly, to ensure a safe working environment for the workforce.
- Promoting Research & Development in Iron & Steel Sector- Ministry of Steel has introduced an R&D scheme viz. “Promotion of R&D in Iron & Steel Sector”, for providing financial assistance for the R&D projects identified for funding by Ministry of Steel. R&D Project Proposals are invited from the stakeholders viz. reputed Academic Institutions, Research Laboratories and Indian Steel Companies for pursuing R&D projects for the benefit of the Iron & Steel Sector in the country. The budget allocated for the scheme is around Rs 15 crore per year.Under this scheme R&D projects have been funded to all major stakeholders viz., SAIL, CSIR Labs viz. CSIR-NML, CSIR-IMMT, CSIR-CBRI, CSIR-CRRI etc. besides some academic institutions like, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras, IIT BHU, MNIT Jaipur etc. Major projects covered under the scheme include exclusive R&D initiatives to upgrade Indian low/lean grade iron ore and Indian coking/non-coking coal and finding ways to produce quality steel with low Phosphorus in Induction Furnace, development of alternative iron making etc. During the year 2020, two additional R&D projects were approved
- COVID Response
- CPSEs Hospitals, quarantine facilities, etc: Steel CPSE Hospitals are working as L1 (Covid Care Centres) and L2 (Dedicated COVID Health Center) facilities for COVID patients. Apart from dedicated Beds (4310) includng around 100 ICU Beds have been made available for COVID patients. Steel CPSEs have also set up dedicated Quarantine Facilities.
- Help to Migrant workers – Annadaan and other Initiatives: Steel CPSEs adopted ‘Annadaan’ and took initiatives to feed migrant workers and weaker sections of the society in and around their areas of operations during COVID times. CPSEs provided food to around 95000 migrants and distributed cooked meals, food kits, facemasks, gloves, etc.
- Supply of Medical Oxygen to Covid care centres/Hospitals: Steel CPSEs have supplied 1200-1500 tonnes per day liquid oxygen from their Captive oxygen plants.
- Contribution to PM CARES FUND (PMCF) : Steel CPSEs have contributed Rs.267.55 crore to PMCF out of their CSR Budget and other sources. Further, salary contribution by Steel CPSE employees amounting to Rs.13.50 crore has also been remitted to PMCF. Private sector steel companies have contributed around Rs.206.38 crore to PMCF.
- Implementation of Vivid se Vishwas (VsV) Scheme : Steel CPSEs availed the VsV to reduce the litigations and have paid Rs.773.11 crore under VsV Scheme by 31.3.2020.
- Restructuring of SAIL Board: The Board of Directors of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has been restructured vide Order dated 24.9.2020 to give importance to head of Integrated Steel Plants on SAIL Board. It will broad base selection process and will bring greater transparency in selection of Director-in-Charge of the Plants.