WORK­ING HAND IN HAND

Assocham Bulletin - - INDUSTRY -

Mr. Syedain Ab­basi, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Steel while ad­dress­ing the ASSOCHAM sum­mit on 'In­dia Pipe­line: Op­por­tu­ni­ties in In­fra­struc­ture, En­ergy, Wa­ter & Slurry', warned the big play­ers in the field, of carteli­sa­tion. He said that when the prices start to rise dra­mat­i­cally due to such fac­tors, it is not in the in­ter­est of the econ­omy as a whole. The gov­ern­ment and the in­dus­try should work hand in hand for the ben­e­fit of the econ­omy and largely for the coun­try as a whole.

Over­the last few years the pipe in­dus­try has been see­ing a con­sis­tent rise in de­mand due to in­fra­struc­ture projects gain­ing mo­men­tum. The de­mand has also in­creased from the tier II and tier III cities.

The Union Gov­ern­ment has cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that though it is will­ing to pro­vide pro­tec­tion to the do­mes­tic pipe man­u­fac­tur­ers against un­fair trade prac­tices, the in­dus­try must also act re­spon­si­bly.

Mr. Syedain Ab­basi, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Steel while ad­dress­ing the ASSOCHAM sum­mit on 'In­dia Pipe­line: Op­por­tu­ni­ties in In­fra­struc­ture, En­ergy, Wa­ter & Slurry', warned the big play­ers in the field, of carteli­sa­tion. He said that when the prices start to rise dra­mat­i­cally due to such fac­tors, it is not in the in­ter­est of the econ­omy as a whole. The gov­ern­ment and the in­dus­try should work hand in hand for the ben­e­fit of the econ­omy and largely for the coun­try as a whole.

He urged the pipe in­dus­try to dwell upon it care­fully ." We want to pro­vide you the pro­tec­tion so that you can sur­vive, be­yond that if you want to do then you will have to com­pete in the open mar­ket with­out any pro­tec­tions."

Not­ing how ef­forts have been re­newed af­ter the new US pres­i­dent took over to limit the im­port of steel and steel prod­ucts to a sig­nif­i­cant ex­tent in to the US, Mr. Ab­basi said, "In such a sit­u­a­tion, when stronger economies in the world are look­ing at pro­tect­ing their in­dus­try, we have to be very clear that our do­mes­tic mar­kets also re­quire to be pro­tected

against un­fair trade prac­tices. That is some­thing, at least in the steel in­dus­try, we are very clear about."

He said that af­ter the pol­icy on Do­mes­ti­cally Man­u­fac­tured Iron & Steel Prod­ucts (DMI&SP) had come, there were con­cerns ex­pressed by the press and by or­gan­i­sa­tions like GAIL, IOC as well as the Petroleum Min­istry about a sig­nif­i­cant hike in prices.

"My re­quest would be that while we are will­ing to pro­vide pro­tec­tion, it would be­come very-very un­ten­able to us to con­tinue if you sud­denly find that the prices in the next ten­der for GAIL pipe­line have gone up by 30per cent," said Mr. Ab­basi.

Terming the im­pact of Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) on steel in­dus­try, 'marginally ben­e­fi­cial/ he in­formed that in case of raw ma­te­ri­als, the duty will come down by 1-1.5per cent.

"Even for steel prod­ucts, while GST is 18 per cent but a lot of cas­cad­ing of taxes has been done away with, re­sult­ing in net ben­e­fit of 1-1.15per cent," said Mr. Ab­basi.

On res­o­lu­tion of Non­Per­form­ing As­sets (NP As) in steel sec­tor, he said that it de­pends not only on GST and DMI&SP but also on pickup in steel de­mand, prices and other re­lated fac­tors.

Mr. Ab­basi in­formed that af­ter the in­ter­ven­tion of Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice (PMO) the prob­lems cre­ated by the rail­ways in giv­ing 'way leave agree­ment,' to cross the slurry pipe­line ei­ther un­der­ground or over­head across rail­way land have abated.

"This is again a huge mar­ket for pipe man­u­fac­tur­ers to ex­ploit and I would re­quest the pipe man­u­fac­tur­ers to team up with min­istries and state gov­ern­ments as in terms of trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics this is a far cheaper, en­vi­ron­men­tally safer and bet­ter op­tion," said Mr. Ab­basi.

"This is some­thing which

needs to be pro­moted all across and pipe man­u­fac­tur­ers would be do­ing them­selves a dis­ser­vice if they do not have a strong pro­mo­tional arm to pro­mote these is­sues," he added.

He fur­ther said that even the Steel Min­istry is also work­ing in terms of pro­mo­tion of steel by look­ing at re­place­ment of a lot of ce­ment and con­crete with steel be­cause it is quicker to im­ple­ment and in terms of life­cy­cle costs it is cheaper.

He also high­lighted that there has been a con­stant re­frain in the pipe man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try that ca­pa­bil­i­ties do not ex­ist in the coun­try to man­u­fac­ture API grade steel or that they are too costly, es­pe­cially which re­quire X-65and above.

"1 would like to as­sure the pipe man­u­fac­tur­ers that there are enough ca­pa­bil­i­ties within the coun­try to man­u­fac­ture those grades of steel whether it is plates, coils or sheets and we would en­cour­age you to buy from do­mes­tic pro­duc­ers," he said.

"1as­sure you that they would be com­pet­i­tive be­cause they also have to com­pete with global play­ers and though we have en­sured that we have given pro­tec­tion un­der anti-dump­ing to HR coil and CR coil and oth­ers, we have given it at ba­sic grade prices there is eas­ily $100 cush­ion in terms of what our ba­sic grade are im­ported at and what is ac­tu­ally the pre­vail­ing in­ter­na­tional price for your API grade, so you would find them re­cep­tive to be­ing com­pet­i­tive," added Mr. Ab­basi.

On the slurry pipe­lines, he said that In­dia is poised for enor­mous growth. "Across the globe, the only coun­try which is show­ing sig­nif­i­cant growth in terms of mar­ket is In­dia."

He added that Pipe in­dus­try in In­dia has a great fu­ture as it has ex­ported enor­mous quan­ti­ties of pipes all over the world and the qual­ity of man­u­fac­tur­ing is well­known in­ter­na­tion­ally and with re­newed stress on in­fra­struc­ture and Make in In­dia, the best days of­pipe in­dus­try area­head ofthem.

n y Dheet; ,in­dal Saw,

}iharma, GM, Pipe­line, Cairn In­dia wture), CEIL. (R·L) Mr. H. S. Ch­hat­wal, Se­nior Man­ag­ing Com­mit­tee Mem­ber, ASSOCHAM, Mr. Mano} Sanghvi, Mem­ber, IPMA & Busi­ness Unit Head Rat­na­mani Me­tals & Tubes Ltd.,

Mr. Syedain Abbesl, lAS, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Steel, Or. B. Mohanty, Mem­ber, Petroleum & Nat­u­ral Gas Reg­u­la­tory Board, Mr. O. S. Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ASSOCHAM.

(R-L) Mr. Raj Kishore, Sr. Man­ager, Pipe­line En­gi­neer­ing, ElL,

Mr. Ra­jnish Baja}, De­sign En­gi­neer, MECON Ltd., Mr. Ajay Mistry, Sr. Vp, Wel­spun Corp ltd., Mr. Chan­chal Das­gupta, Ap­pli­ca­tion Mkt. Man­ager Bor­ouge (In­dia) Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Syedain Abbesi, lAS, Joint Se~re­tary, Min­istry of Steel ad­dress­ing the au­di­ence.

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