Financial Chronicle - - PLAN, POLICY -

Steel com­pa­nies from South Ko­rea and Ja­pan have shown in­ter­est to in­vest in In­dia for man­u­fac­tur­ing value-added prod­ucts, Steel Min­is­ter Chaudhary Biren­der Singh said.

A source in the min­istry said: "The steel min­istry is al­ready in talks with Posco and Hyundai Steel to ex­plore pos­si­bil­i­ties of in­vest­ing in In­dia for pro­duc­ing val­ueadded steel prod­ucts."

When asked if In­dia has writ­ten or is in talks with some for­eign com­pa­nies such as Posco and Hyundai Steel to form joint ven­tures (JVs) with state-run com­pa­nies Steel Au­thor­ity of In­dia Ltd (SAIL) and Rashtriya Is­pat Nigam Ltd (RINL), Min­is­ter Singh gave an af­fir­ma­tive re­ply.

"Yes. Which­ever com­pa­nies they are, they are from South Ko­rea and Ja­pan. They have shown their in­ter­ests. In fact, they have also vis­ited SAIL and RINL plants. We would cer­tainly like if they come with trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy through FDI for value-added prod­ucts," he told PTI.

Sources in the min­istry said the min­istry has held sev­eral rounds of meet­ings and dis­cus­sions to fa­cil­i­tate man­u­fac­tur­ing of high-grade steel in In­dia with the help of for­eign com­pa­nies es­pe­cially from Ko­rea and Ja­pan. In Novem­ber, the Am­bas­sador of South Ko­rea met Steel Sec­re­tary Bi­noy Ku­mar and said that Posco and Hyundai Steel might form JVs with RINL in due course of time.

The Am­bas­sador also re­quested the top of­fi­cial to as­sure iron-ore link­age and in­cen­tives to the Korean com­pa­nies for mak­ing them in­vest in In­dia.

Dur­ing the same month, the Am­bas­sador of Ja­pan also met the steel sec­re­tary re­gard­ing set­ting up of JVs or steel plant of high grade in In­dia.

The min­is­ter ear­lier had said pub­lic sec­tor com­pa­nies have ad­van­tages such as cap­tive mines and they must go for value-added spe­cial grades of steel.

In­dia should cut its de­pen­dence on spe­cial steel prod­uct im­ports through value ad­di­tion and form JVs with global lead­ers for tech­no­log­i­cal know-how, he had said.

"Trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy for pro­duc­tion of au­to­mo­tive steel and other spe­cial steel will be fa­cil­i­tated by help­ing set up JVs with global lead­ers in such prod­ucts," the min­is­ter has said.

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