New Delhi: The country's crude steel production rose nearly 6 per cent to hit an all-time high of 101.28 million tonnes last year, according to official data.
During April-December of the fiscal 2017-18, the output stood at 75.50 million tonnes as against 72.20 million tonnes during the same period a year ago, an expansion of 4.6 per cent, the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) -- which is empowered by the steel ministry to collect data on the Indian iron and steel industry -- said in its latest report.
"For the first time..., India's crude steel production crossed the 100 million tonnes mark in 2017, reaching 101.227 million tonnes, a growth of 5.87 per cent over 2016," it said.
In December alone, the country produced 8.65 million tonnes as against 8.38 million tonnes in the same month a year ago.
SAIL, RINL, TSL, Essar, JSWL and JSPL together produced 43.39 million tonnes during April-December 2017, which was a growth of 6.5 per cent over the same period of the preceding year, it said.
The rest 32.10 million tonnes came from other producers, which was a growth of 2.1 per cent over the same period a year earlier, the report said. Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh also expressed satisfaction over the production numbers.
"Glad to share that India's crude steel production crossed the 100 million tonnes mark in 2017. This reflects the industry's commitment towards strengthening the Indian steel sector," he said in a Tweet.
India is the third largest producer of crude steel in the world after China and Japan. The country is now aiming to grab the second spot. The government is taking various measures to promote the domestic steel sector and raise capacity.
On May 3, the Cabinet gave nod to a new policy that aims to achieve steel making capacity of 300 million tonnes by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore.
The same day, the government approved a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products in procurement by the government and its agencies.