New Delhi, November 4:

India has chalked out a long-term goal for raising the quality and production capacity of steel in the country from 38 million tonnes to over 100 million tonnes by 2019-20.

The National Steel Policy (NSP) approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Thursday envisages “that India should have a modern and efficient steel industry of world standards, catering to the diversified steel demand”, information and broadcasting minister S Jaipal Reddy told the media.

With a focus on global benchmark in terms of efficiency and productivity, Reddy said this would require “indigenous production of over 100 million tonnes per annum by 2019-20 from the 2004-05 level of 38 million tonnes per annum.

This implies a compounded annual growth of 7.3 per cent per annum”.The national steel policy seeks a multi-pronged strategy to move towards the long-term goal to create higher demand within the country and improving the delivery system, particularly in rural areas.

To attract more investment in production, research and development, the new steel policy would try to remove bottlenecks in the availability of inputs like iron ore and coal while encouraging the creation of infrastructure such as roads and ports.

The approval of the national steel policy coincided with the approval of plans to set up a new company to facilitate the funding of infrastructure projects. Expectations of a higher domestic and global demand together with the availability of raw inputs is seeing considerable investment plans being chalked out in India by global steel majors like the LN Mittal Group and Posco.