The Minister of Steel & Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, appealed to steel industry leaders to work with transparent policies and generate employment opportunities to strengthen the country in making it “atmanirbhar”. He further stated that with a bouquet of policy reforms, the government aims to provide a level-playing field to the industries for wealth creation. Well-laid out processes and policy clarity are being designed to ensure ease of doing business.

Speaking as the chief guest at the ICC National E-Conference on ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Focus: Downstream Industries in Steel, Chemical and Petro-Chemical Sector, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICC) in association with the Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, on October 15, Pradhan said, “Ensuring minimum government, and maximum governance will be key to enabling our industries to create wealth for society. We must facilitate businesses by providing necessary infrastructure.” He called upon steel industry leaders to gear up to meet domestic requirements. He said our collective efforts with resolve and co-operation will pave the way for making of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Pradhan said that the country has emerged from the slowdown caused by the pandemic and multiple economic indicators are already suggesting a rebounding of the Indian economy. He said there is a visible growth in the manufacturing sector. Exports which were – 6.6 in 2019, have grown by 5.3 % last month. He mentioned that Railway freight has shot up by 15%, FDI has also increased and there is increasing investments in various projects leading to positive growth trajectory. He also stated that Industry and businesses have a huge role to play in the economic recovery and self reliant India.

Talking about the Mission Purvodaya envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which calls for balanced development of India with eastern India leading the way, Pradhan said that Odisha will play a key role in realising Mission Purvodaya and making of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Odisha’s natural advantage in mineral resources and having large ports offer unique opportunities for industrial growth. He said both the steel and petrochemical sectors and their ancillary industries are uniquely poised to leverage the opportunities and further expand their footprints.

The minister emphasised that port-led economy can be a game-changer for Odisha. He said the government is doing massive work in inland waterways in Odisha. Paradip Port has emerged as the numero uno port of India. Dhamra and Gopalpur ports are playing important roles. The minister said that industry leaders should leverage the rich mineral resources, skilled workforce and well-drawn policies of the Odisha government to excel in steel manufacturing.