New Delhi : Union steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan Friday addressed a webinar on “New opportunities for steel in construction and infrastructure”, organized by Indian Steel Association.

Pradhan speaking on the occasion exhorted the steel industry leaders to focus on making the industry export-centric and fulfill global requirements too. He said, “Aatmanirbhar Bharat and being ‘Vocal for local” is all about creating a robust domestic market and going beyond fulfilling domestic requirement to reach the global markets. PPE manufacturing during Covid-19 time is a case in point in which India went from being a net importer to exporting PPEs to the world. Our inherent capacity in vaccine production is another such example. Our steel sector is perfectly poised to become more vibrant, globally competitive and export-centric.”

Speaking about infrastructure creation, Pradhan said, “Prime minister has set a target to make India a $5 trillion economy. Infrastructure development will play a key role in this journey. Our government is focusing on creating a modern infrastructure for the 21st century. Whether it is roads, railways, housing or oil and gas, every sector is seeing infrastructure creation at unprecedented pace. The Rs. 20 lakh crore Aatmanirbhar package gives special stress on infrastructure sector. All these augurs well for the steel sector.”

The minister also said that steel can be a catalyst for well-being of people and making it a material of choice will bring greater strength to the society.

The minister of state for steel Faggan Singh Kulaste said that steel usage per capita in the country is about one-third of the global average. He emphasized that there is an urgent need to bridge this gap and take steel usage in the country to the next level. There should be greater awareness on steel usage and a concerted drive to raise steel usage in rural areas which will bring greater strength to society, he added.“Our government has sanctioned Rs. 6322 crore for production linked incentive scheme (PLI) for specialty steel. I hope that Indian Steel Association will work on greater value addition and focus on specialty steel to bring in greater self- reliance in steel sector,” he said.