New Delhi: India and China are set to increase cooperation in steel and mineral sectors and will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this connection during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the neighbouring country next week.
“We are concerned that the shortage of coking coal could result in these companies importing the mineral, thereby affecting their cost competitiveness. During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing both the countries are likely to sign an MoU to expand their cooperation in the steel and mineral sectors,” a top government official told PTI.
He said India’s coke import from China, the world’s biggest supplier of the commodity, has grown a little more than 6 million tonnes. Besides, the country also imports 19 million tonnes of coking coal, the raw material used to make coke, but many medium and small steel producers who do not have ovens to make coke depends on supply from China.
“It is in the interest of the steel and iron sector of both countries that we enhance more cooperation in this sector. The agreement will be signed with the National Development and Reform Cooperation (NDRC) of China,” the official said.
According to the draft MoU, both the nations would resolve to ensure transfer of technology in steel and ferro- alloys and undertake joint exploration, development and production of coking coal through joint biddings or establishment of joint ventures.
“Besides, both the nations would pledge to provide each other the required raw materials. For example supply of iron ore from India and coke from China on a long-term basis or independent supply of coke,” it said.