New Delhi–The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its approval to the National Steel Policy, 2017.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said this would make the industry globally competitive.

The policy projects crude steel capacity of 300 million tonnes (mt), production of 255 mt and a robust finished steel per capita consumption of 158 kgs by 2030-31, as against the current consumption of 61 kgs.

According to it, the 300 mt of steel making capacity would translate into additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore by 2030-31.

The policy also envisages to domestically meet the entire demand of high grade automotive steel, electrical steel, special steels and alloys for strategic applications.

The increase of domestic availability of washed coking coal is also considered a priority area so as to reduce import dependence on coking coal from about 85 per cent to around 65 per cent by 2030-31, an official statement said.

The government said National Steel Policy 2005 (NSP 2005) charted out a road map for sustained and efficient growth of the Indian steel industry but it required adaptation in view of the recent developments unfolding in India and also worldwide, both on the demand and supply sides of the steel market.

The Indian steel sector has grown over the past few years to be the third largest producer of steel globally, contributing to about 2 per cent of the country’s GDP and employing about 5 lakh people directly and about 20 lakh people indirectly.