The demand of raw material i.e., iron ore for Indian Steel Industry is met from the domestic supply in the country while the demand of coking coal is met mainly through imports.
The focus of the Government is on increasing domestic production of coal and to achieve these targets through allocation of more coal blocks, pursuing with State Governments for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways. In order to enhance domestic production, 25% of coal production has been allowed for sale of coal for newly allocated captive coal blocks. Commercial mining, with a provision for 100% foreign investment, has also been allowed by the Government.
Further, Ministry of Mines through their two separate orders dated 16.09.2019 have allowed Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to sell 25 percent of its total iron ore production in the previous year and to dispose of the old stock of 70 Million Tonnes (MT) of low grade iron fines and ores (including slime) lying dumped across different captive mines of SAIL. SAIL mines have made available about 2.6 MT of iron ore (Fresh Fines = 2.2 MT, Dump Fines = 0.4 MT) during the period April-December, 2020.
Steel is a de-regulated sector. Decisions regarding modernization, expansion or setting up new steel plants/greenfield projects are taken by the respective companies, based on commercial considerations and market dynamics keeping in view techno-economic viability of projects.
This information was given by the Union Minister for Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.