India's Steel Industry is more than a century old. Before the economic reforms of the early 1990s the Indian steel industry was a predominantly regulated one with the public sector dominating the industry.
Tata Steel was the only major private sector company involved the production of steel in India. Sail and Tata Steel have traditionally been the major steel producers of India. In 1992, the liberalization of the India economy led to the opening up of various industries including the steel industry. This led to the increase in the number of producers, increased investments in the steel industry and increased production capacity. Since 1990, more than Rs 19,000 crores (US$ 4470.58 million) has been invested in the steel industry of India.
India's steel industry went through a rough phase between 1997 and 2001 when the overall global steel was facing a downturn and recovered after 2002. The major factors that led to the revival of the steel industry in India after 2002 was the rise in global demand for steel and the domestic economic growth in India.
India has now emerged as the eighth largest producer of steel in the world with a production capacity of 35MT. Almost all varieties of steel is now produced in India. India has also emerged as a net exporter of steel which shows that Indian steel is being increasingly accepted in the global market.
The growth of the steel industry in India is also dependant, to a large extent, on the level of consumption of steel in the domestic market. Steel consumption is significant in housing and infrastructure. In recent years the surge in housing industry of India has led to increase in the domestic demand for steel.
More than 3500 different varieties of steel are available in the steel industry of India. These can however be classified into two broad categories -
Flat Products - Flat products include plates and hot rolled sheets such as coils and sheets. Flat products are derived from slabs. One of the major uses of steel plates is in ship building.
Long Products - Long products include bars, rods, wires, ropes and piers. These are called long products due to their shapes. Long products are made from billets and blooms. Long products are mostly used in housing and construction and also in rail tracks.
In many developed countries around the world, tap water is widely considered to better for you than the bottled variety and subject to more stringent safety checks. Why then do we insist on purchasing something which is up to 300 times more expensive than what comes out of our taps?
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Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. Former Turkish Minister of State for Economic Affairs. Head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) from 2005-2009.