Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman can present the budget for the financial year 2020-21 on February 1. With this budget, the automobile sector and infrastructure, as well as the steel sector, can get new energy. The steel sector has been experiencing sluggish growth for the last 5 years. To overcome this sluggishness, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may announce a cut in duty rates on imports of coking coal and pet coal. The steel sector is eagerly awaiting the first of February. The steel sector hopes that the Finance Minister will announce some major steps to revive the infrastructure and automobile sector, which can help in reducing the economy as well as the slowdown of the steel sector.
According to steel companies, some improvement is still visible after the demand for steel has reached the lowest level in October 2019. But this situation will remain, there is doubt. Therefore, the government may have to give financial impetus to the automobile industry and take measures to increase investment in infrastructure, especially in rail, road, electricity and housing sectors. It is a good sign that the government is continuously taking steps to increase investment in projects related to new lines, doubling, electrification, signaling, besides coach and wagon production and development of stations in Railways. Efforts are being made for fast work on the grand scheme like Bharatmala in road construction. The shipping and national waterways sector also has an important role in increasing the demand for steel and the government is also expanding these sectors. For this, Sagarmala and waterway development projects are being run.
In the same budget, measures are possible to increase the allocation for all these and encourage private and PPP projects. A major problem in the steel sector is rising fuel and raw material prices. They are mainly concerned with good quality coal which has to be imported. To get rid of expensive coal imports, the government has recently decided to fully open up the coal sector for private investment. But the dependence on coking coal imports is likely to continue. Therefore, the industry has demanded a reduction in import duty on it. It is believed that the Finance Minister will definitely consider it in the budget.