A delegation from the Jammu and Kashmir chapter of Assocham on Saturday met Union Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh. It has sought extension of the freight subsidy to the industries of the Union Territory.
The delegation led by Chairman, ASSOCHAM J&K Council, Manik Batra also urged the minister that Warehousing Policy should be provided in J&K for steel industry and traders.
"J&K is a landlocked union territory, most of the raw material is procured from outside the UT and finished goods are again sent out to different states; this makes the cost of operations high. We request for a freight subsidy for all industrial units manufacturing steel and stainless steel in J&K to make operations more viable and competitive," Batra said.
Expressing his gratitude to the minister for his tour of the Union Territory, he said such visits and interaction would encourage investors to commit more in Jammu and Kashmir.
"India was the world's second-largest steel producer with production standing at 111.2 million tonne per annum in 2019. The growth of the Indian steel sector has been driven by domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore and cost effective labour. The steel sector has been a major contributor to India''s manufacturing output," he said.
Batra said India's current steel producing capacity is 140 million tonnes per annum and this is anticipated to go up to 300 million tonne per annum by 2030-31.
"The per capita consumption of steel in India has increased from 57.6 kg to 74.1 kg in the last five years but the per capita consumption of steel in J&K is still below 50 kg.
"A mother industry of steel be considered with a consideration for logistics to provide iron ore. So that other Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can benefit and a new era is opened up in this landlocked region," said Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM J&K Council, M A Alim.