The Indian steel industry, one of the core industries in India, is more than a century old when the first integrated steel plant was established by Tata Iron & Steel (popularly known as Tata Steel) in 1907. India is currently the world’s fourth largest producer of crude steel and is expected to become the second largest producer by 2015.
Steel industry derives its demand from other important sectors like infrastructure, aviation, engineering, construction, automobile, pipes and tubes etc. Thus its intense integration with other important industries makes it a strategic sector for the Governments as well.
The Indian steel sector enjoys advantages of domestic availability of raw materials and cheap labour. Iron ore is also available in abundant quantities, though the recent mining restrictions have put a strain on its availability. This abundance has been providing a major cost advantage to the domestic steel industry.
Steel plays a vital role in the development of any modern and emerging economy. The per capita consumption of steel is generally accepted as a yardstick to measure the level of socio-economic development and living standards of its countrymen. As such, no developing country can afford to ignore the steel industry.