New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) India will achieve more than 50 per cent of its 300 million tonne steel production target by 2018-19, says Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.

The minister has also assured stakeholders that there will not be any shortage of raw materials for steel-making.

“(As of now), I can’t say what would be the production this year, but in 2018-19, the domestic crude steel production will be 170 million tonnes (mt),” he told PTI.

Under the National Steel Policy (NSP), the government has set a production target of 300 mt, which is to be achieved by 2030-31. The NSP also aims at more than doubling the per capita steel consumption to 158 kg by 2030-31, from 61 kg at present.

The minister asked the industry to make full use of the resources available in the country. India has surplus power and the iron ore reserves will last for at least next 30 years, he pointed out.

He pointed to recycling reducing demand for iron ore and coal for steel-making. “Scraps can also bring down our demand for raw material for steel-making and is of the best grade. At present, 8 mt scrap is imported,” he said.

These measures are expected to bring down dependence on imports for raw materials like coking coal from countries, including Australia.

According to official figures, at the end of 2016, the domestic crude steel output was close to 100 mt.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.