Budget 2017: Steel sector remains optimistic


Kolkata: Though the budget failed to address demands for withdrawal of import duty and clean power cess on coking coal, steel sector in general remained optimistic about the budget proposals as some announcements by finance minister Arun Jaitley will have indirect impact on the industry.

“The devil is in the details which we have to see for the steel sector. Focus on infrastructure is a big positive for steel companies and the industry because it is a key driver of steel consumption,” Tata Steel India and SEA managing director T.V. Narendran said in his reaction to the budget.

“The focus on rural sector is also important as many of our principal industries, like two-wheelers and tractors, are very dependent on the rural economy and Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),” Narendran said.

Visa Steel vice-chairman & managing director Vishal Agarwal trying to remain upbeat said, “The budget focus on housing, rural economy, infrastructure spending and railway and defence capex is expected to boost economic growth and revive domestic steel demand.”

Shyam Steel director Lalit Beriwala described the budget as ‘good’ for the steel sector as the allocation of nearly Rs4 lakh crore towards infrastructure would boost demand. As steel companies produce steel through sponge iron route, they are also not impacted for coking coal import duty.