New Delhi, June 15, 2008 (PTI): India's steel production is likely to surpass the domestic requirement by 2011-12, easing pressure on prices of the alloy, which has been adding to the spiralling inflation.
"We shall achieve 124 million tons of steel capacity by 2011-12, well exceeding the requirement that would be to the tune of about 110 million tons at that point of time," Steel Minister Paswan told PTI.
Steel prices shot up by over 50 per cent since January, adding to the woes of the UPA government, which is battling a seven-year high inflation of 8.75 per cent in its last year.
The annual demand for steel in India has been rising by about 13 per cent, but production is growing by over 6 per cent, according to official sources.
Last fiscal, the country's crude steel production stood at 53.9 million tons, of which about 5 million tons were exported. To bridge the demand-supply mismatch, India had to import nearly 7 million tons of steel.
Steel Secretary R S Pandey while endorsing India becoming a net steel importer from being a net exporter till a few years ago, said the trend is likely to continue for sometime as increase in capacity takes at least three to four years.
As per official figures, country's finished steel import went up by over 300 per cent from 1.6 million tons in 2002-03 to nearly 7 million tons in 2007-08 (provisional).