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Indian Geography / Industries in India

Iron and Steel Industry in India

The iron and steel industry in India is utmost important for rapid industrialization of the country. It acts as a backbone for the country as it supplies material for engineering goods, defence equipment, railways, buildings, consumers goods, etc. The iron and steel plants in India will generally be located near the areas where resources like Iron ore, Manganese, Coal and Limestone are available. Chota Nagpur Plateau region has the maximum concentration of iron and steel industries. Iron ore, Coking coal and Limestone are needed in the proportion of 4:2:1 for the steel industry. Manganese is necessary for hardening the steel.

Development of Iron and Steel Industry

  • During pre-independence era, there were only 3 main steel plants. The first steel plant in India, Tata Iron and Steel Company located in Jamshedpur, was established in the year 1907.

    The other two being Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) established in 1919 at Burnpur (West Bengal) and Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL) set up in 1923 at Bhadravati in Karnataka.

  • During the second five year plan, 3 government steel plants in India were established. Bhilai steel plant was set up with the help of USSR.

    Rourkela steel plant is established with the help of West Germany and Durgapur steel plant was established with the help of UK.

  • During the third five year plan, the biggest steel project in India, the Bokaro steel plant was established with the help of USSR.

    During fourth and fifth five year plans, three new public sector steel plants were set up at Salem (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Vijayanagar near Hospet (Karnataka).

  • Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) was set up in 1973. It is a Government owned Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) headquartered at New Delhi. It is managing the integrated steel plants in India located at Bhilai, Durgapur, Bokaro, Rourkela and Burnpur and Special steel plants at Bhadravati (VISL), Salem (Salem Steel Plant) and Durgapur (Alloy Steel Plant).

  • As part of liberalization process, the Government of India initiated many reforms like removing licenses, removing trade restrictions on imports, disbanding pricing and distribution controls, reducing tax rates, etc. The Government introduced the National Steel Policy 2017 and allowed 100% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the iron and steel industry in India under the automatic route.

    As a result of reforms process, many steel plants in the private sector were established and are still getting established. Some of the steel plants in private sector are Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Bhushan Steel Limited, Essar Steel India Limited, JSW Steel, etc.