(Last Updated on : 10/06/2017)
Iron and steel industry in India is a heavy industry. All its raw materials are heavy and massive. They encompass iron-ore, coking coal and limestone
. Iron and steel industry necessitates enormous investment, proper infrastructure, able means of up-to-date transport and communication
system and most importantly plentiful fuel or power supply. The major companies in this sector are Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and Essar Steel. Fuelled by growing demands from automobiles, infrastructure, real estate sectors, the iron and steel industry in India has gained global recognition.
Historical Development of Iron and Steel Industry in India
Iron and steel industry in India has experienced sustainable growth since independence
. As compared to China, India had an excellent beginning. A humble beginning of the modern steel industry took place at Kulti in West Bengal
in the year 1870. But the outset of bigger production became noticeable with the establishment of a steel plant in Jamshedpur
in 1907. The plant started production in 1912. A new township formed was named after Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
, a former chairman of Tata Group. This venture was followed by Burnpur Steel Plant and Bhadrawati Steel Plant in 1919 and 1923, respectively. Excluding the Jamshedpur Steel Plant of the Tatas, all are public sector plants and looked after by the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL). Tata Steel, which leads and dictates the Indian industrial scenario has spread its horizons and acquired Corus, the UK-Dutch steel company. Bokaro Steel Plant
and Bhilai Steel Plant in Bhilai
were set up with soviet alliance. Durgapur Steel Plant headquartered at Durgapur
and Rourkela Steel Plant headquartered at Rourkela came up using British
and West German technical expertise, respectively. Vishakhapatnam
Steel Plant at Vishakhapatnam has the advantage of importing good quality coking coal from abroad and is at ease in exporting its products straight to the world market. In 1997-1998, it had produced near about 2.2 million tones of pig iron. The plant has been able to uphold international standards of competence.
Production in the iron and steel segment has been escalating since the last 20 years.India has been ranked 7th among the world's largest steel manufacturers by the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI). In 2006, India produced around 44 million tones of steel.
Structure of Iron and Steel Industry in India
Iron and steel industry in India has 2 separate producers. They are the integrated producers and the secondary producers. Amongst the integrated producers, the major producers include Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). They generate steel by the conversion of iron ore. The secondary producers like Ispat Industries, Lloyds Steel and Essar Steel, create steel through the process of melting scrap iron. These are mainly small steel plants and produce steel in electric furnaces, using scrap and sponge iron. They produce both mild steel and alloy steel of given specifications.
Location of Iron and Steel Industry in India
Location of iron and steel industry in India is administered by its proximity to raw materials, predominantly coal
. The finished products in turn are also heavy and need efficient transportation system for their distribution. The Chota Nagpur Plateau
, bordering West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha
and Madhya Pradesh
is the natural nerve-centre of iron and steel industry in India.
Significance of Iron and Steel Industry in India
Iron and Steel Industry in India is one of the most essential industries of the country which propels industrial development. It has helped in generation of several subsidiaries and small scale Indian industries
and also supports power
, fuel and communication industries. It forgoes the heavy machines and tools industry. Umpteen light, medium, small and cottage industries depend on it, as a result of modernization and industrialization of India. Out of the 200 MT of total production of iron and steel industry, about 50 percent is exported. Furthermore, iron ore
exports have augmented by 17 percent because of its demand from China. Moreover, export duty levied on iron ore has been reduced. This provided impetus to the iron and steel industry. Thus, augmentation in productivity in iron and steel Industry in India by adopting more effective and efficient technologies, will effect in amalgamating social, environmental and economic development objectives.
Steps taken to Develop Iron and Steel Industry in India
Various new industrial policies and other initiatives undertaken by the Government of India
have increased the growth of iron and steel industry. Some of the measures include low import duties, simple tax structure and unrestricted external trade
. The social reforms introduced by the government improved the development process of iron and steel industries in India. As a result, expansion and modernization measures are being adopted by the units that already exist as well as numerous new plants are being set up in various regions of the nation, which are more improved, economic and cost effective and use advanced technologies. Moreover, large investments are being made in the steel plants in Odisha by the Korean company, POSCO.