Context: Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel recently said that India cannot become Aatmanirbhar without eastern India becoming self-reliant. He also said that Purvodaya- eastern India has to drive national growth.

Background: Even though The Eastern region of India is extremely rich in resources like coal, bauxite with locational advantage with the presence of major ports such as Paradip, Haldia, Vizag, Kolkata, it lags behind other states in terms of GSDP per capita and Human Development Index (HDI).

Purvodaya-Accelerated Development of Eastern Region 

  • About: The Ministry of Steel in partnership with CII and JPC is organizing the launch of Purvodaya-Accelerated Development of Eastern Region through an Integrated Steel hub, in line with government  Vision for focused development of the Eastern States.
  • About the integrated steel hub
  • The proposed  Integrated  Steel  Hub, encompasses Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Northern Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Integrated Steel Hub would focus on 3 key elements:
  • Capacity addition through easing the setup of greenfield steel plants.
  • Development of steel clusters near integrated steel plants as well as demand centers.
  • Transformation of logistics and utility infrastructure which would change the socio-economic landscape in the East.

Benefits of Integrated Steel Hub

  • Development of eastern India 
    • It will play a significant role in the overall socio-economic growth of Eastern India, thus reducing the disparity between the East and other regions of the country.
    • It would enable the eastern belt to add more than 75% of the country’s incremental steel capacity envisioned by the National Steel Policy.
    • This would also be accompanied by social infrastructure in the form of cities, schools, hospitals, skilling centers, etc
  • Steel sector
    • It would enable swift capacity addition and improve the overall competitiveness of steel producers both in terms of cost and quality. 
    • In addition to increased steel capacity, this hub would also help enhance best-in-class value addition capabilities. 
  • The multiplier effect in the economy
    • The creation of world-class logistics and utility infrastructure would also spur the development of other manufacturing industries across sectors.
    • It will complement
    • 100 lakh crore infrastructure investment announced by the Government in the next 5 years and will result in an additional boost to construction and infrastructure through various initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Jal Jeevan Mission, Sagarmala, Bharatmala.
  • Job Creation: Growth of the steel industry through such a hub would lead to significant employment opportunities across the entire value chain, creating over 2.5 Million jobs in the region.

In India’s march towards a $5 trillion economy, the 5 Eastern states can play a major role where the steel sector can become the catalyst in the growth of the established steel industry, thus improving the HDI standards and GDP of eastern India.

Image Source: Dariya