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Monday, July 15, 2024

PLI projects accelerate visa approvals for Chinese experts in Steel Min

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In Short:

India’s Steel Ministry is expediting visa processes for Chinese technicians working on speciality steel projects under PLI. Investments in the sector are below estimates due to delays caused by visa issues. The ministry is working on accelerating project clearances and encouraging domestic production of capital goods to reduce reliance on imports. Government support is being provided for developing indigenous equipment and protecting intellectual property rights.

Steel Ministry Facilitates Visa Processes for Chinese Technicians to Boost PLI Projects

India’s Steel Ministry is making it easier for Chinese technicians and experts to obtain visas for working on PLI projects focusing on speciality steel. This move is aimed at accelerating the progress of speciality steel making schemes under the PLI initiative.

Investment Updates

Recent figures show that against a revised expected investment of ₹16,000 crore for FY24, actual investments were slightly lower at ₹14,500 crore. This is a decrease from the previous commitments by companies and scheme beneficiaries, who had pledged ₹21,000 crore in the last fiscal year.

The slow progress in the sectoral PLI scheme has been attributed to delays in visa approvals for Chinese technicians due to India-China visa issues. However, efforts have been made to streamline the visa approval process, with most recommendations for Chinese visas now being cleared within seven days.

PLI Scheme for Speciality Steel

Under the PLI Scheme for Speciality Steel, 57 MoUs have been signed, leading to an investment of ₹29,500 crore and an additional capacity of 25 million tonnes by FY28. Selected companies have already invested about ₹12,900 crore till December 2023, with an additional ₹10,000 crore expected in FY25.

Push for Capital Goods in Steel Sector

The Steel Ministry is emphasizing the importance of developing precision equipment and capital goods domestically to reduce reliance on imports. With a significant portion of steel plant equipment being imported, there is a push for Indian companies to develop high-end capital goods and equipment in-house. The Ministry is willing to provide support, including facilitating IPR protection for indigenously developed equipment-manufacturing processes.

It is essential for Indian steel companies to start producing their own capital equipment to improve competitiveness globally. By collaborating with private and state-owned companies, as well as institutions, and with government support, the aim is to reduce the import bill for precision capital equipment and goods.

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