STEELWORLD – April 2024

Editorial – April 2024 :

By the time you read this piece, the new government in New Delhi would be in place.

As you know, ‘Steelworld’ magazine is devoted to iron & steel industry and politics is never a part of our magazine or even a part of the discussions during our conferences We as a business media have consciously kept away from it and have always focused on the issues related to the industry. Having said this, we all must admit that the events in the global geopolitics do have a substantial and sustained effect on the international trade and thus need to be discussed here on such platforms. We have seen how Ukraine Russia war had impacted the semis and finished steel exports from these countries, the effect on logistics due to non operational sea routes within the war zone, direct as well as indirect involvement of many countries in this war, all these factors significantly influenced the iron & steel industry. We did discuss this from time to time in this column itself.

What is true for international politics is also true for domestic one We must understand that there is a sustained and bilateral relationship between any industry and the government. This relationship changed a bit in 1992 when India adopted liberal and open format of the economy and the government’s control over the industry reduced drastically along with the abolition of licence raj. Still there are few regulations and the government still has few strings in its hand. It does control and monitor the industry to some extent by implementing land acquisition laws, environment clearances, levying taxes, controlling export import duties on raw materials and finished products etc. Thus in today’s liberalized economy model too there are few checks and balances in place.

Who constitutes the government ? Obviously politicians and the bureaucrats. The industry, through its representative bodies and also on the individual company level, has to continuously deal with these politicians and the bureaucrats to protect and further its interests. It has certain specific demands and expectations from the government. To that extent and for this purpose, the industry should be and will be interested in the national politics and would naturally try to install the government which will cater to its

What does the iron & steel industry want from the government? As we all know, our industry consists of many sub industries and what is profitable for one may not be so for the other. For instance, if the government reduces import duty on graphite electrodes, it may help EAF units but will be against the interests of domestic manufacturers of this. product. Thus the demand from the entire iron & steel industry can only be ‘spend maximum on infrastructure development which will generate huge demand for steel.

I hope the new government will be concerned about the economic growth of the country and would give enough emphasis on infrastructure projects. I am sure this will give a big boost to the steel demand in the country. What more our industry wants?

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