In an effort to provide shelter to migrant workers and enhance the country’s steel consumption simultaneously, the government today urged the steel companies to partner with it in providing low-cost housing for migrant labourers. Minister of Steel & Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that the government has set a target of providing 1 lakh such houses, but the industry should build many more steel-intensive, low-cost houses which will be model for others to emulate, according to the Ministry of Steel. He added that the mammoth projects being undertaken by Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs & Civil Aviation, and their future plans should be music to the ears of the steel industry.
Speaking at a webinar titled ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat: Fostering Steel Usage in Housing & Construction and Aviation Sector”, the minister further said that there is a large potential for enhancing the use of steel in the country and the projects need to be implemented expeditiously, by breaking free from red-tapism.
Dharmendra Pradhan said that India, which is already the second-largest producer in the world, should emerge as a preferred source for steel requirements as there is no shortage of good-quality steel products in the country. However, steel consumption in the country is much lower compared to global consumption. Per capita finished steel consumption in 2018 was 224.5 kg for the world and 590.1 kg for China. The same for India was 73.3 kg in 2018 and 75.7 kg in 2019.
Meanwhile, the cabinet had recently approved the development of affordable rental housing complexes (ARHCs), for migrant workers. The cabinet had decided to utilise existing vacant government-funded houses, built under UPA-era schemes, by renting them out to migrants. Around 3 lakh migrants, including construction workers; service providers in hospitality, health, domestic and commercial establishments; and students will be able to avail rental housing.