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In this issue

With an astonishing electoral defeat in Delhi and not so overwhelming Railway budget, Modi-led NDA government had lot of ground to cover with the union budget presentation. Mr Jaitley did rightly so with all round announcements emphasizing on growth & infrastructure development; although affect of such events could be visible only in medium term. The finance minister also set an ambitious target of bringing fiscal deficit down to 3% in next 3 years. However, pursuant to this, it seems the government had no resources to incentivize export of Steel and discourage import; leaving the community in despair. The Iron & Steel industry in India has been toiling for revival and was expecting quick-fixes from the budget. Various associations & industry bodies had pool of expectations; from reduction in duty on import of raw material to hike in import duty on finish steel to not less than 15%. However, none of this turned into reality. An increase in peak rate to 15% on products under chapter 72 is all that came as a comfort to the industry. Find out more on page 22. Coal has been in spotlight ever since 214 coal blocks were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September last year. 19 of these mines have already been auctioned in the first tranche of re-allotment. Experts have indicated that the bids were high owing to the e-auction process and the burden in all likelihood will be transferred to the consumer. RK Sachdev, Former Advisor (Coal) to Government of India in an interview to Steel 360 talks about life post coal block auctions on page 16. How & how much will the budget impact the aam aadmi (layman) and whether ‘achhe din’ have actually arrived, will be evident only in the next few months.

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