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Iron and Steel Industry in India
Iron and Steel Industry in India has attained tremendous growth and development since the country’s independence with the establishment of the steel plant in Jamshedpur.
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 Iron and Steel Industry in IndiaThe iron and steel industry in India is one of the most essential industries in India which propels its industrial development. It has helped in generation of several subsidiaries and small scale industries and also supports the power, transport, fuel and communication industries in the country. Out of the 200 MT of total production, 50% is exported. Furthermore, Iron ore Exports have augmented by 17%, because of demand from China. Production in the iron and steel segment has been escalating since the last 20 years. Moreover, export duty levied on iron ore has been reduced which has been proved as an impetus to the industry. The major players in this sector, includes, Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), ESSAR Steel.

History of Iron and Steel Industry in India
Iron and Steel Industry in the country has experienced a sustainable growth since the independence of the country. A humble beginning of the modern steel industry was reached in India 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 Bihar in 1907. It started production in 1912. The new township was named after J.R.D Tata. This venture was followed by Burnpur and Bhadrawati Steel plants in 1919 and 1923 respectively. It was, however, only after Independence that the steel industry was able to find a strong foothold in the country. Excluding the Jamshedpur plant of the Tatas, all are in the public sector and looked after by Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL). Bhilai and Bokaro Steel plant were set up with Soviet alliance. Durgapur and Rourkela came up with British and West German technical expertise, respectively.

Production Scenario of Iron and Steel Industry in India:
Iron and steel industry normally is a heavy industry. All its raw materials are heavy and massive. They encompass iron-ore, coking coal and limestone. Location of this industry is thus administered by its proximity to raw materials, predominantly coal. The finished products in turn are also heavy and need efficient transport system for their distribution. The Chota Nagpur plateau bordering West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh, therefore has been the natural nerve-centre of this industry. Iron and Steel industry is also a basic or key industry. It forgoes the heavy machines and tools industry. Umpteen light, medium, small and cottage industries depend on it, as a result of modernisation and industrialisation of a country.

Iron and steel industry also necessitates enormous investment, staple infrastructure, mainly able means of up-to-date transport and communication system and most importantly plentiful fuel or power supply. Various new Industrial policies and other initiatives undertaken by the Government of India have given a new thrust for growth and participation to the iron and steel industry. As a result, expansion and modernisation 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 implement advanced technologies. Fuelled by growing demands from automobiles, infrastructure, real estate sectors, the Indian iron and steel industry has gained global recognition.

Tata Steel, which leads and dictates the Indian scenario, has spread its horizons and acquired Corus, the UK-Dutch steel company. Moreover, Mittal Steel, owned by the renowned L.N. Mittal, has takeover Arcelor, a French steel company, resulting in Arcelor Mittal, which has become the top most global steel company. Moreover, large investments are being made in the steel plants in Orissa by the Korean company POSCO. Vishakhapatnam Steel plant has the advantage of importing quality coking coal from abroad and is at ease in exporting its products straight to the world market. In 1997-98 it had produced near about 2.2 million tones of pig-iron. The plant has been able to uphold international standards of competence.

Industry Structure:
The Iron and Steel Industry in India has 2 separate divisions:
* Integrated producers, and
* 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), who generate steel by converting 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.

Development of Iron and Steel Industry in India
As compared to China, India had an excellent beginning. India has been ranked in the seventh position for the world's seventh largest steel manufacturer by the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI). In 2006, India produced around 44 million tones. Several measures undertaken by the government have increased the growth of the iron and steel industry in India. 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. The government has lately declared that special economic and investment regions would be established in almost 6 states. These would hence support further processing like production of steel, including a few special economic zones where state of the art infrastructures would be provided by the government to develop a better industrial region.

Thus, augmentation of productivity in Iron and Steel Industry in India, by adopting more effective and efficient technologies for manufacture, will effect in amalgamating social, environmental and economic development objectives.

(Last Updated on : 29/10/2012)
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