Surge in Steel Imports

In News

  • Recently, the Indian steel industry has expressed concern over India becoming a net importer of steel in 2023-24.

About the Steel Sector

  • Steel has traditionally occupied a top spot among metals.
  • Steel production and consumption are frequently seen as measures of a country’s economic development because it is both a raw material and an intermediary product.
  • The Indian steel industry is classified into three categories – major producers, main producers, and secondary producers.
  • India has set a target of having an installed steel manufacturing capacity of 300 MT by 2030.


  • The steel sector plays a pivotal role in crucial sectors such as construction, infrastructure, automobile, engineering, and defense.
  • Over the years, the steel sector has witnessed tremendous growth and India has emerged as a global force in steel production and the 2nd largest producer of steel in the world.
  • The growth in the Indian steel sector has been driven by the domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore and cost-effective labour.
  • The Indian steel industry is modern, with state-of-the-art steel mills.
  • It has always strived for continuous modernization of older plants and up-gradation to higher energy efficiency levels.
  • Consequently, the steel sector has been a major contributor to India’s manufacturing output.

Related Steps

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval for National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017 which enshrines the long-term vision of the Government to give impetus to the steel sector.
  • It seeks to enhance domestic steel consumption ensure high-quality steel production and create a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry.
  • In October 2021, the government announced guidelines for the approved specialty steel production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
  • FDI: The Government has allowed 100% FDI through an automatic route for the steel sector in India.


  • Low investment in technology and Infrastructure
  • Raw material availability is the key challenge for the steel industry.
  • India has registered a 38% surge in imports of finished steel to 8.319 million tonnes (MnT) over 6.022 MnT imported during the preceding 2022-23 fiscal.
  • The surge in predatory imports from China is a big threat to the Atma Nirbharta in steel.
  • health and safety are the most neglected concerns in the Indian steel sector.
  • Steel production is an energy-intensive process that has a significant environmental impact.

Conclusion and Way Forward

  • The steel industry has emerged as a major focus area given the dependence of a diverse range of sectors on its output as India works to become a manufacturing powerhouse through policy initiatives like Make in India.
  • There is a need to ensure a sustainable supply of crucial raw materials, such as iron ore and coking coal, along with enhancing export competitiveness that will be vital for achieving this ambitious goal.
  • India’s steel industry faces threat from predatory imports.
  • Restricting steel imports is crucial to safeguard investments and ensure robust GDP growth.
  • aIt becomes imperative for the industry to strategize ways to enhance the cost competitiveness of products.