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Coronavirus outbreak to impact steel industry for next 2-3 years, says Dharmendra Pradhan

India occupies number two slot in steel production.

The impact of Coronavirus outbreak will be felt on global steel industry for at least two to three years, as China is the largest producer of the alloy, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday. The minister also asked Indian steel companies to enhance output, particularly special steel, to grab larger global market share. A strategy paper was being prepared for producing 10 million tonnes of special steel at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore with 50,000 employment potential in the present scenario, he said.

India is the second largest global producer of steel with an annual output of over 106 million tonne (MT), but lags much behind China that accounted for 928.3 MT of the alloy in 2018.

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“When some markets in the globe face pressure, its positive reflection is felt in some other markets. This is an automatic (natural) law. India occupies number two slot in steel production. From capital goods to finished products – how can we derive benefit – we are holding talks with stakeholders,” Pradhan said on the sidelines of a CII event.

Pradhan also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered a helping hand to China to fight the deadly virus. He urged players – both large and small – including the startups to come forward for production of special steel and check its import, as countries like Japan and Korea where exporting finished goods to India after adding value to raw material imported from India.

“India is a technologically competent country. There is lot of manpower, lot of domestic market, lot of raw material … Synergising all these factors we have to be self sufficient, we have to create a new model…We have to produce good quality of special steel…We can also export,” Pradhan said.

The coronavirus that emerged in central China at the end of last year has now killed nearly 1,800 people and spread around the world.

As of Monday, 70,548 people had been infected across China, the majority in and around Wuhan – the capital of Hubei province, where the outbreak was first reported.

Outside mainland China, there have been about 780 infections reported in nearly 30 locations.

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Source: Financial Express