Budget proposals to provide impetus to steel industry: Experts
The steel industry welcomed the Budget proposals and hoped that focus on areas such as ports, roads, affordable housing, physical infrastructure should provide the steel sector necessary impetus to meet its growth targets.
TV Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel India and South East Asia, said the industry, being a core sector, appreciates the Government’s budgetary allocation for infrastructure development.
This focus on infrastructure will definitely improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector. The Government’s plan to put in place a specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics would help the industry, he said.
The industry looks forward to working with the Government in its plans to develop infrastructure and empower rural communities, Narendran said.
Shivramkrishnan Hariharan, Director (Commercial), Essar Steel India, said, the policy initiatives in the Budget will have a catalytic effect on the economy. These include the abolition of FIPB that will encourage more FDI investment, increased allocation to the infrastructure sector that will enhance public spending, 100 per cent rural electrification programme, the move to have additional 20,000 MW of solar power plants, the creation of two more strategic crude reserves and increased support to affordable housing.
“In the steel sector, we expect incremental demand growth because of the significantly higher allocation to infrastructure, rural spending, and building of 3,500km of railway tracks in FY17-18. The reduction in customs duty on LNG will spur use of cleaner energy resources, enabling us to meet emission norms as agreed in the Paris Convention,” Hariharan said.
The flexibility given to Railways on the freight side to match competition is expected to translate into lower rates for steel and other commodities, he added.