Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday said the demand-supply gap in the sector was widening and the production of steel in the country, currently at 56 million tonnes needs to pick up.
“The sector is at a critical point in its journey,” Singh said. “During the current financial year, steel demand has increased by 8 per cent whereas production has increased only by a relatively lower margin of 3 per cent, making the country more dependent on imports.”
Singh said that while a large number of capacities are in the pipeline, which will take some time to be commissioned and start production, many operational plants have spare capacities, which may be utilised to increase production.
“Steel capacity development has fallen behind with most of the major steel projects stuck with issues related to land acquisition and mining leases,” he said, referring to delays in the high profile projects of ArcelorMittal and Posco.