Help govt in providing low-cost homes for migrants: Pradhan to steel firms

Topics housing | migrant workers | Lockdown

Pradhan further added that there is no shortage of good-quality steel products in the country, and giving priority to indigenously produced steel will help the industry become a preferred destination
The Minister of Steel & Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday has appealed to steel industry leaders to partner the central government in providing low-cost housing for migrant labourers. The Covid-19-induced nationwide lockdowns have highlighted the poor housing arrangement for migrant labourers in urban regions, he said.

He said the government has set a target of providing 100,000 such houses, but the industry should build many more steel-intensive, low-cost houses, which will be a model for others to emulate.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Ministry of Steel in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry on Atmanirbhar Bharat: Fostering Steel Usage in Housing & Construction & Aviation Sector, Pradhan said lower costs will make steel more lucrative for infrastructure development.

The domestic industry should focus on increasing volumes instead of excessive profiteering to boost the growth of the steel sector, he said.

Pradhan further added that there is no shortage of good-quality steel products in the country, and giving priority to indigenously produced steel will help the industry become a preferred destination.

Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director and group chief financial officer at Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel, who was at the webinar, said the government should support the steel sector in creating awareness about steel-use across sectors.

While domestic steel producers have made steel lighter, stronger, and more heat resistant, he said the industry was working towards making it infection proof.

“There is no other material that can match steel in terms of toughness, weight-and-strength ratio, durability, elasticity, and ductility. Also, the use of steel reduces construction time of a project cycle by 30 per cent,” said Rao.

Quoting a recent study by Ipsos, a global market research and public opinion specialist, Rao said, “Only 36 per cent of Indian respondents recollected steel as first recall of construction material, while Chinese had 62 per cent respondents for steel as first recall. This study shows that steel intensity and its use needs a push in the Indian market.”

Currently, India has an installed steel capacity of 140 million tonnes (mt) and is expected to go up to 300 mt by 2030. The commodity can contribute strongly to build a $5-trillion economy, as it can be used in construction and infrastructure.

Steel consumption, in the construction and infrastructure sectors, stands at approximately 60 mt of the total 100-mt demand in India.

According to the National Steel Policy, steel consumption is expected to rise to 135 mt by 2030.

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