Cabinet makes local steel mandatory in govt projects

India's cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to make the use of local steel mandatory for government's infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, aimed at boosting the sales of local companies. The ministry's flagship National Steel Policy, which seeks to outline a roadmap to increase the country's annual steel production to 300 million tonnes by 2025, was also passed by the cabinet, Jaitley said.

The policy is broadly seen as a continuation of India's protectionist stance against countries such as China and Russia. It also comes in the backdrop of a trade probe launched by U.S. President Donald Trump against cheap imports into the United States, in a move that could aggravate trade friction among global producers. India wants to nearly triple its production capacity by the next decade and acquire technology to produce higher value products including automotive steel.

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