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Rural India holds key to enhancing per-capital steel usage in the country: Dharmendra Pradhan
Oct 20, 2020

Steel usages in rural areas in India needs quantum jump to create a self-sustainable model for rural development said Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries

Rural India holds key to enhancing per-capital steel usage in the country, said Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas

Speaking at the Inaugural Session of the Webinar on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Fostering Steel Usage in Rural Economy’, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar , Hon’ble Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries said that it is important to create a self-sustainable model by enhancing steel usage in rural development by focussing not only on increasing their farm productivity but also bringing food processing centres close to the rural areas.

Centre and state government have over all estimated a total capital expenditure of Rs. 7,73,915 crores between fiscals 2020 and 2025 on rural infrastructure development. Government is launching the third phase of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY-III) at a total cost of over Rs 80,000 crore. Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide functional household tap connection to every rural household i.e., “Har Ghar Nal se Jal” by 2024. The program will be implemented at an estimated total capex of Rs. 3,60,000 crore shared between states and centre. Rs. 2,48,626 crores would be invested in rural housing under PMAY Gramin and about Rs 162,329 crore would be invested to improve rural roads under PMGSY. All these schemes shall require large quantity of Steel and thus industry need to bring focus on meeting such rural demands. He added that Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana" has been launched for providing financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock. All such schemes shall require large tonnage of steel and in some cases special steel also may be required.

He also suggested  formation of a working group to look into the requirement of steel in the rural sector and map it to the domestic steel production. This will enable better co-ordination, planned approach to co-creating framework for greater use of domestic steel in rural areas. Shri Tomar expressed hope that the discussions today will provide useful insights about key growth drivers, issues, challenges and opportunities for fostering domestic steel usage in the rural sector.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas while addressing the Seminar mentioned that rural India holds key to enhancing per-capital steel usage in the country.  It will bring greater strength to society, ensure rural development and create jobs set the aim to increase the per capita steel consumption in the country significantly from the current average of 74.1 kg.

India has made significant improvement both in Steel Production as well as Steel Consumption in the last few years. With 65% of people living in villages, there are huge opportunities available to increase steel consumption in rural areas, in line with the increase in urban areas. To move towards a sustainable rural India, all round development need to be planned and Government of India has already launched different schemes which shall require large consumption of Steel.

The minister informed that government has started disbursing Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with many new sectors being included in the priority sector.  He said that “We are developing 5000 Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG)  plants across the country. Reserve Bank of India has recently included CBG in the priority sector. We are working on to make ethanol from rice. The mission to ensure housing for all, investments in rural roads, railway infra augmentation and impetus to agriculture will all create greater steel demand. Enhancing per-capita steel consumption is in the interest of all,” he said. Government will also infuse INR 10,000 crore for production of 100 crore litres of ethanol across the country from rice. All these will generate maximum benefit to rural India.

Apart from facilitating capacity expansion, the Ministry of Steel has been taking measures to enhance steel demand usage in the country and is actively working with concerned ministries including Railways, Civil Aviation, Defence, etc. He added that the webinar is also a part of the series of consultation Ministry of Steel is holding with various stakeholders so that any gap between the user and the producer is filled up in the shortest possible time. The Ministry will identify and initiate the top four action areas in association with CII shortly to bring desired result in increasing per capita Steel consumption of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Sh. Faggan Singh Kulaste, Hon’ble Minister of State for Steel, Government of India said that our Government under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister. has taken several initiatives to transform the rural landscape: webinar on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Fostering Steel Usage in Rural Economy’ has been organized to tap the vast potential available for Iron and Steel sector in rural economy which is growing at a much faster rate. He said that the webinar will provide a much needed and effective platform to the industry and stakeholders to deliberate upon future need of steel in these sectors because of government focus on rural economy. He highlighted that strong rural liquidity sustained by higher minimum support price (MSP) for crops and supporting prices of agricultural produce; enhanced employment opportunities under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and other Government schemes; adequate credit availability; and replacement demand all are helping to improve Rural economy and consequently increasing steel demand from rural sector.

The webinar was organised by Ministry of Steel in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today where more than 1000 stakeholders from different sectors participated in the discussions to identify present and future requirements of steel and steel products in Rural Development Sectors and increase awareness on usage & benefits of using steel goods.

20 October 2020
New Delhi
 

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