Indian Mining Sector Highest Taxed in the World


Sunil Duggal is President, FIMI and Vedanta’s Global CEO for Metals and Mining for Group companies including Sterlite Copper, Vedanta Zinc International – Africa and Ireland, Copper Mines of Tasmania – Australia. He is also the CEO and Whole-time Director of Hindustan Zinc Limited since October 2015. He joined the company in the year 2010 as Executive Director, became Chief Operating Officer in the year 2012 and was Dy. CEO from 2014. In his previous stint, he worked with Ambuja Cement for 20 years, wherein, he drove the growth of the company to plus 20 million tons. He was President at the time of leaving. A result oriented professional with over 36 years of experience of leading high-performance teams and 20 plus years in leadership positions. He is known for converting challenges into opportunities, his ability to keep a level head at all times, nurture and grow a business and successfully drive efficiency and productivity whilst reducing costs by embracing new technologies and innovation. His dedicated efforts on sustainability has helped building a robust safety and sustainability culture. Under his able leadership, HZL has been ranked first in Environment Category and 5th in Sustainability globally by Dow Jones Sustainability Index. His thrust on adopting best-in-class mining and smelting techniques, state of art environment friendly technologies and mechanisation, automation and digitalization of operational activities has added great value. He was born and brought up in Amritsar and comes from a humble background. His initial education is from DAV school, Amritsar and has an Electrical Engineering degree from Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala. He is an Alumni of IMD, Lausanne – Switzerland and IIM, Kolkata. He is serving as Vice Chairman – International Zinc Association, President – Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, President – Indian Lead Zinc Development Association. Recently, he has been appointed as the Chair – CII National Committee on Mining. In an interview to Sanjay Singh, Assistant Editor of Steelworld, Duggal says that the mining industry in India is still the highest taxed in the world. Now, the effective tax rate in India works out to be 58% for existing mines and 54% for new mines granted through auction.

for the exclusive interview with Sunil Duggal click here

Editorial – September 2019

chandekarDear Readers,

The Indian economy was doing quite well for the last decade or so and that is the reason many international companies as well as the investing community was eyeing on this newly awakened elephant. This was especially true after the global economic meltdown in 2008 when most of the developed world economies crumbled and India was one of the few growing economies on the planet. This upward journey continued till the end of 2016 but after that the GDP growth rate started slipping. There may be long term benefits of a move like demonitization but on a short term basis, the cash in the market was eroded. Many cash based (legitimate) businesses had received severe jolt and few did not survive this sudden blow.

Big steel corporates were not affected by demonitisation but small mills doing business in cash and evading the tax suffered a lot. I do agree that it is a good transition and has helped the country to strengthen the mainstream economy. Even with respect to GST, the initial teething problems seem to have reduced and the implementation part has started becoming more smooth.


With all the above reasoning, one cannot deny the fact that the country is presently witnessing an economic slowdown. Let the economists debate whether or not it can be technically termed as ‘recession’ but the declining GDP figures for more than two quarters, rising unemployment and especially for steel sector, the disastrous performance by auto sector, all this do not paint, by any standard, a positive picture of the economy. Yes, first of all, let us accept that Indian economy is slowing down, after that will come the solution part.

As far as steel industry is concerned, auto consumes not more that 12 % of steel produced in the country. Thus declining auto sales do not pose a great threat to steel consumption. The bigger problem for steel is slowing down of infra sector, which consumes more that 55 % of steel production and is more or less controlled by central and the state governments. Unless the governments increase their spending for this sector, give a forward push to infra projects, how can steel demand grow?

I do agree that conventionally, auto sector performance was considered as the barometer of the economy of any developing country. Is this assumption still valid? I doubt ! The lifestyle and mindset changes in the last few years have completely changed our approach towards the life. The 21st century, rather than believing in physical infrastructure, believes more in digital one. Steel was the basis of the human progress in 20th century but in this century, human aspirations seem to have taken a new direction. With the progress in solar energy sector, the importance of fossil fuels is certainly going to diminish. With the advent of electric cars, the auto component industry is going to drastically shrink (if not vanish). Can anybody predict what will be the state of steel industry after 10 years?

Performance delivered – The Yıldız Demir Çelik Cold Mill Complex in Turkey


Yıldız Entegre Holding has more than 100 years’ experience in industry and commerce, and in 2015 it decided to enter the steel business through its subsidiary company, Yıldız Demir Çelik. Danieli was selected as technology partner and supplier of its first steel processing plant : a new, complete cold-mill complex setup representing latest
technologies to produce 1.5M tons per year of high quality cold-rolled, tempered
and coated coils.

The p15:14 30-09-2019roduct range includes white goods applications, commercial, structural and construction grades, IF, HSS, HSLA and DP material, for demanding customers in local and international markets. In 2018 the new installation at Kocaeli started operating in sequence, and already it is producing in excess of the contractual production rate. Danieli acted as the single-source supplier for mechanical, electrical and automation equipment, and the innovative technological solutions and process knowhow applied at Yıldız have been developed by Danieli through continuous in-field experience and R&D improvements.

for complete article click here

16th Iron & Steel Summit



Iron and Steel Summit, Raipur 14 December 2019 (1).jpg

India is the world’s largest producer of sponge iron, accounting for approximately 13 per cent of the global production. Since non-coking coal is abundantly available in India, coal based sponge iron contributes about 80 per cent of the total sponge iron producing capacity in the country. Due to scarcity of coking coal for the blast furnace route, Indian coal based sponge iron production expanded over the last decade. Today, though India has 35 MTPA installed capacity for DRI, the production has come down from 24.8 MT in 2010 to 20.05 MT in 2012, 17.81 MT in 2013, 17.31 MT in 2014 and 17.87 in 2015. Leading states in sponge iron production are Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Odisha occupies the top position accounting for 36 per cent of the total coal based sponge iron producing capacity in the country followed by Chhattisgarh (27%), West Bengal (14%) and Jharkhand (8 %).

Presently, the situation in the iron & steel industry is very bad. With the acute shortage of key raw materials – iron ore and coal, demand stagnation and stringent government policies are squeezing the iron & steel companies in India. Medium & large units can still continue to run especially those having captive iron ore and coal mines. Forward integration to steel making & rolling along with co-gen module did give some stability to these units but at present, they are all struggling to survive !

The Summit

The ‘Iron & Steel Summit’, being organised for the last 15 years, has been considered as the most valuable platform to facilitate discussions and debates on technological, process related and market dynamics aspects. The Summit addresses the issues related to beneficiation & pelletization, Sponge Iron Making, its viability, Co-generation and also viability of such projects. It discusses the technology involved at various stages of steel making such as melting, continuous casting, rolling, downstream processing etc. The process parameters of beneficiation & pelletization, and their influence on the plant performance will be evaluated in the summit. Apart from this, down the line processes such as melting, continuous casting and rolling will also form an important aspect of this meet. The summit addresses itself to the issue of sustainable growth of integrated mini steel complexes. It will discuss the strategies to combat the price and demand fluctuations as well as the possibility of technology up-gradation in the future. The product diversification and forward integration options such as special steel making, pipe & tube making will also be discussed. The environmental norms are becoming strict gradually and need to be addressed for a sustainable and green industry.

The deliberations will consist of experts in the field, representatives of various trade associations, senior executives from related government departments (state as well as central) etc. It will also highlight the case studies of the organisations already engaged in the above activities and can serve as an important guideline for others.

Your presence to the summit will introduce you to various business opportunities in steel industry.
for complete brochure and registration form click here

Editorial May 2017

Iron & Steel industry is the backbone of any economy and their co-relation is quite direct and linear. This means that the fortune of steel sector depends on the general condition of the economy and is also a measure of health of any economy.
When we say that western world economy has slowed down, naturally its steel appetite has reduced resulting in lower steel consumption as well as production. In Asian region, the infrastructure building is the main agenda which requires huge quantities of steel and also other metals. This serves as a very big trigger for the regional economy.

If we look at the famous economic curve, India is at the starting point of the steep section of the curve whereas China is towards the end of this section. This means that countries like China have surpassed their best growth period and very soon their growth will be plateaued. On the other hand countries like India are about to enter or just entered the fast growth period of the economy. The next one or two decades are expected to witness a fast economic growth in India and as mentioned earlier, it has a direct co-relation with the iron & steel sector.
We all know that last 2/3 years were quite challenging for Indian steel mills. Rise in input costs, stagnated demand, shrinking exports and cheap imports had really destroyed the bottomline of many steel companies. Now the raw material situation has gradually improved, mega infra projects have started moving ahead and the steel demand seems to have started increasing. Export situation has improved a bit and most importantly the Indian government has given some protection to domestic mills in the form of ‘Minimum Import Price’ (MIP). All this has helped the industry to stabilize and expect an upward transition in next few months. The quarterly results of big steel mills announced recently manifest a similar sentiment.

Of course, this no way means that Indian steel industry is free from problems. If they have to meet a target of 300 mtpa by 2031, they have to look into and improve almost all areas including raw materials availability, land acquisition issue, demand escalation and even the availability of technical manpower.

Today, India is not even producing 100 mtpa and I know many steel mills are operating without a qualified metallurgist !

Editorial April 2017

The steel consumption in the Middle East region is growing, though slowly, and there is a bit of positive sentiment in the regional economy. This may be because of partial reversal of oil price crash and re starting of few mega infra projects in the region. Further, it was generally felt that the region is a soft destination for dumping of steel as no government has imposed any anti dumping duties on any of the importing countries or mills. Arab Iron & Steel Union, in order to protect the regional industry, has been advocating for such measures for a long time but as per the governments of many countries, this is against the principle of free trade adopted by the region long time ago. Today the Middle East region is a net importer of steel and off late, India has been able to export substantial amount of flats and GI to this region, may be due to cooling down of China and improved price viability. It was also discussed that if India’s steel making capacity does not rise substantially in coming few years due to land acquisition and environmental issues and if the Indian economy continues to grow at a decent speed, there is going to be scarcity of steel in the country. This situation may arise post 2020 and may provide opportunity to the Middle East steel mills to export to India. These were the few points discussed at ‘4th Indo Arab Steel Summit’ held recently at Dubai.

Another high profile event was ‘India Steel 2017’ held jointly by Ministry of Steel and FICCI at Mumbai where one could sense a lot of optimism around. Industry leaders like T.K.Singh, P. Madhusudhan, T. V. Narendran, Naveen Jindal displayed a lot of confidence regarding the steel demand, Greenfield and brownfield expansions and India’s economy in general. Hon’ble Minister of Steel Choudhary Birender Singh and Steel Secretary Dr. Aruna Sharma too assured the industry to work hard for the removal of bottlenecks being faced by the industry.

Admist all this positivities, I have to make one point. Ministry of Steel has set a target of reaching 300 MTPA capacity by 2030. First of all, is the word ‘target’ correct? We have to remember that steel is not the final product in the process chain but is input to other industries like construction, auto, white goods, engineering etc. The steel requirement of the country depends on the growth of these user industries and it should be estimated accordingly.

Setting high targets without proper analysis of user industry growth prospects would result in creating unviable overcapacity, isn’t it ?

Editorial March 2017

Middle-East is seen as one of the fastest growing regions in terms of steel consumption, thanks to the infrastructure development and construction activity all over. The region is net importer of steel and CIS, Turkey, China, India are the preferred suppliers. During 2009 meltdown, the regional economy did get a jolt and the developmental activity drastically reduced followed by reduction in steel consumption. The region gradually stabilized in terms of industrial activity, infrastructure projects and the steel consumption also rise slowly. The Middle East and the North African region, commonly known as MENA, is considered to be one of the fastest growing regions as regards industrial and economic activity. The oil price crash had reduced the pace of the economy but now with gradual increase in oil prices, the industry sentiment is also turning positive. As such the region offers tremendous opportunities on a long term basis.

Middle East region has been a traditional and one of the most important trade partners for India and it is true for iron & steel industry as well. The common items exported from India include ferro alloys, billets, HR & CR coils, steel pipes, steel plant equipment and even skilled technical and managerial manpower. India imports iron pellets, TMT rebars, scrap etc. Many Indian executives are working in various steel producing and processing plants in the Gulf and helping the regional economy progress. Also, a lot of entrepreneurs from this region are exploring the possibility of investing and participating in the growing Indian economy.

Indian iron & steel industry is also going through a lean period. The demand is not going up as expected and the capacity utilization of Indian mills is not very impressive. Thus the deficit in the Middle East steel production and the low capacity utilization of Indian mills can very well compliment each other. Of course, other suppliers are already present in that market and there will be very stiff competition.

Mind well, exports are not to be seen as a short term opportunity. It cannot and should not be a filler till the time domestic demand and price improve. It has to be a sustained and a long term policy. Then only one can really boast to be a global supplier !