India's per capita consumption of steel has gone up to 59 kg as of 2012 from around 45.8 kg in 2007, according to Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma.
The minister said that the government has identified the rural market as one of the areas where the potential of steel consumption can be enhanced further. Accordingly, the ministry of steel has launched a campaign for popularising usage of steel in those areas.
The Institute of Steel Development and Growth (INSDAG) has been frequently conducting training programmes to create awareness about the use of steel. The main producers have already established a wide network of rural dealers/distributors so as to make steel available in the remote corners of the country. INSDAG is also working on revised designs of pre fabricated/semi fabricated applications as well as increasing aesthetics of steel used in various projects, the minister said.
INSDAG has been asked to publish brochures on the use of steel in the regional languages also in order to popularise its usage. To assess the pattern and trends of steel consumption in rural India, an all India survey was commissioned recently. A report of the study on assessment of steel demand in rural India has been received.
Along with rural areas, Verma said, necessary action has since been initiated to increase and popularise consumption of steel in other areas of the country.
Meanwhile, lack of support from almost all the state governments have led to shelving
of the concept of Ultra Mega Steel Plants (UMSP) in the country, the minister said.
"The response from state governments on the concept of UMSP has not been encouraging. Ministry of Steel does not have any regulatory or statutory powers in this regard. It acts basically as a facilitator or coordinator. In view of the response of the State Governments, the implementation of the concept of UMSP has not been found feasible," Verma said in a written reply in Parliament.
He further pointed out that the states like Gujarat, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal have not supported the concept of setting up of UMSP. The main facilities required for setting up of steel plants are land, iron ore linkage, coking coal, power and water, and these are either under the purview of other ministries of Government of India (ministry of mines, coal, environment & forests) or concerned state governments.
Source: Steel Insights
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