Chaudhary Birender Singh today assumed charge as the Steel Minister at a time when the sector is passing through a “stressful” phase.
Singh has taken over from Narendra Singh Tomar who has been made the Rural Development Minister.
Handing over the charge, Tomar said: “I welcome Mr Singh to the ministry and I am sure his long innings in public life and politics will help enrich the steel ministry.”
“Steel is an important sector. It gives direct employment to about 4-5 lakh people and indirect to about 40 lakh and plays a crucial role in a country’s journey from developing to the developed,” he added.
At present, the sector is going through a “stressful time” globally as well as in India but the government is alert and has taken several measures to protect domestic industry, Tomar said, adding that the result is now started showing and the sector is moving towards better times.
Singh said he is a result-oriented person and expertise in a sector depends on the person’s willpower to deliver results.
“I feel it can be any ministry or any kind of work, but what works is common sense in the interest of the country. Mr Tomar said that sector is passing through stress and I feel we will look at the ways that we can employ to come out of these times.
“I have never looked back. Today I have handed over the charge of rural Development Ministry to him and now my concentration is on steel. I’m result oriented and I will work towards making the sector better,” he added.
Singh’s term in the steel ministry comes at a time when the industry globally is going through one of its worst phases marked by overcapacity and flagging demand.
In India too, the sector is facing strong headwinds due to cheap imports from China, Korea, Japan, Russia among others, which has impacted the sales and margins of domestic firms.