The domestic steel sector is upbeat on the budget proposal to develop 100 smart cities, a move that is likely to generate demand for key building and construction materials like steel and cement.
Reacting to the budget, chairman of state owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), CS Verma said: "The renewed focus on infrastructure viz. development of smart cities, ports, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, power plants, plan for doubling pipeline grid, metro for tier 2 cities, industrial corridor, incentives for housing, and revival of SEZ etc. will go a long way to further consolidate growth and giving fillip to steel sector which has faced stagnant demand of late."
The increase in customs duty for stainless steel will provide the requisite protection at a time when the demand has slackened. Other measures such as reduction in customs duty for steel grade limestone and dolomite, as well as ships for breaking should also help the industry.
"The move to develop 100 smart cities leading to infrastructural development will increase demand of steel and cement resulting in inclusive growth. Various sectors will be highly benefited by this infrastructural enhancement," said Manoj Kumar Agarwal, managing director, Adhunik Metaliks, a maker of speciality steels.
Source: Economic Times
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