On July 22 last year, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a PLI scheme of Rs 6,322 crore to boost the production of special steel in India. Special steel is a value-added variety of the alloy in which normal finished steel is coated, plated, or heated, to convert it to high-value steel for use in defence, space, military energy and automotive, among other sectors.
The move is expected to attract additional investment of around Rs 40,000 crore and generate 5.25 lakh of employment opportunities. March 29, 2022 was the deadline for submitting applications from investors wishing to invest under the scheme, which has been extended until April 30, the official from the Ministry of Steel told PTI.
There will be some additions in the modified scheme, which are in progress, he said. Explaining the rationale for the move, he said the move was taken at the request of steelmakers, who had raised some concerns about the program.
“We are working on a uniform incentive for the production of special steels. Other ranks, especially those used in the defense sector, will be added to the scheme. Production capping is also an area we are looking at,” he said of possible changes in the modified scheme. The initial scheme included five categories of special steels: coated/clad steel products, high-strength/wear-resistant steel, special rails, alloy steel products, steel wires and electrical steel.
Industries such as automotive, electrical, defense and pipes are consumers of these steel grades. Earlier, speaking to PTI, Minister of State for Steel Faggan Singh Kulaste said he was confident that a large number of national and internal players would come forward to reap the benefits of the program and invest in India to produce special steel.
Kulaste had also said that increasing per capita steel consumption and special steel production, as well as improving raw material security, will remain the government’s main focus areas in 2022.
The government aims to save 33,000 crore of foreign (forex) rupees that leave India every year to import special steel.