India to take up CBAM issue with EU and WTO: Goyal
By TIOL News Service
NEW DELHI, NOV 07, 2023: UNION Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Piyush Goyal said that India is moving towards massive investments in infrastructure to meet the aspirations of its growing population. While addressing the 4th edition of 'ISA Steel Conclave 2023' held in New Delhi today, the Minister acknowledged that steel is vital to achieving this goal, with an aspiration to produce 300 million ones of steel annually by 2030.
Addressing concerns about the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), Goyal assured that the Indian government has taken up the issue with the European Union and at the World Trade Organization (WTO). He emphasized the importance of fair treatment for Indian producers and exporters and reaffirmed India's commitment to opposing unfair taxes or levies that may harm the steel industry.
The Minister further highlighted efforts to secure better Free Trade Agreement access for the steel industry in developed countries and emphasized the importance of intellectual property and value addition in trade agreements. He also recognized the industry's support for the MSME sector in India and urged continued commitment to this segment.
The steel industry's role in the construction sector, India's growth, and its influence in helping the nation become self-reliant were highlighted by the Minister. Goyal commended the industry's commitment to quality standards and the need to expand quality control orders to ensure high-quality steel products for consumers. Additionally, the Minister pledged to address concerns related to safeguard duty and other international trade agreements impacting the steel industry.
Goyal said that the steel industry in India currently employs approximately two million people, making a substantial contribution to the national GDP. The Minister conveyed his confidence that the steel industry can significantly enhance self-reliance as India strives to meet the increasing demands of the sector. The industry's growth and performance have been remarkable in recent years, with Goyal receiving feedback from major steel producers regarding their plans for capacity expansion and sustainable manufacturing practices.
Goyal referenced Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision, emphasizing that as India moves toward becoming a developed nation, the steel industry will play a pivotal role in strengthening the country's infrastructure. He noted that this recognition of the steel industry's importance is well-placed, especially as India gears up for massive investments in infrastructure. India's per capita steel consumption is expected to rise significantly as the country aspires to fulfill the dreams of its billion-plus citizens.
The Minister noted that India aspires to transform from being a net importer of steel to a net exporter, supporting its "One Earth, One Family, One Future" theme. The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) for specialty steel is one of the steps taken in this direction, promoting the manufacturing of high-quality steel and bolstering India's position in the international market. He recalled pioneering initiatives like steel slag road technology, emphasizing the efficient utilization of waste stream slag in road and highway construction. This practice aligns with the principles of the circular economy.
The Minister expressed admiration for the vibrancy of the Indian steel industry, describing it as the bedrock of the country's development. He reflected on the industry's growth journey since its inception, harking back to the first steel town in Jamshedpur. Sharing a personal connection to the steel industry, Goyal conveyed his sense of pride as India now stands as the second-largest steel producer globally, surpassing Japan. He underscored that with the National Steel Policy 2017 and the industry's recent investments, along with abundant iron ore resources and surging domestic and international demand, India is poised to approach the target of producing 300 million ones of steel.
The event was marked by discussions on the theme, 'Steel Shaping The Sustainable Future,' underscoring the multifaceted role of the steel industry in India's growth and development. Piyush Goyal lauded the theme, highlighting the pivotal role of steel in building a more sustainable future. He emphasized how steel, as an essential material in construction and manufacturing, can significantly contribute to replacing traditional, polluting industries. In the era of growing environmental concerns, the Minister underlined the importance of sustainable practices, including responsible construction methods that could help mitigate pollution.
He said that India's leadership in the G20 presidency this year provided a fitting backdrop to the theme of "One Earth, One Family, One Future." Goyal encouraged further discussions on sustainable practices, reinforcing how steel remains integral to our daily lives, underpinning our infrastructure and economy.
The Minister acknowledged the challenge of coking coal availability and costs and encouraged the industry to explore alternative technologies to address this issue. Research and development are essential for the steel industry's sustainability and the future, promoting green and low-carbon steel production. He highlighted the importance of recycling steel scrap, referring to the recently promoted automobile scrapping policy and the potential it has to reduce pollution and crude oil imports while fostering demand for energy-efficient electric vehicles.
Piyush Goyal stressed the importance of a collaborative approach between the government, the industry, and consumers. He emphasized the need for an aspirational target for per capita steel consumption in India and encouraged industry players to engage in innovative and sustainable practices to achieve this goal.
Piyush Goyal acknowledged the steel industry's support for the 'Brand India Project' and urged the industry to actively participate in forthcoming exhibitions to showcase their strengths. He reiterated his belief in the industry's potential to be a cornerstone of India's growth and development.