Rourkela, Apr 1: India needs to boost its steel production to surpass China to become the biggest producer in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said as he dedicated to the nation Rs 12,000-crore expansion project at the SAIL's Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) here.
Asking the steel industry to raise production to reach the top position in the world and to ensure quality which attracts global attention, Modi said India has surpassed the United States in production, but stood behind China.
"We must go to the top," he said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a huge gathering at Rourkela in Odisha after visiting the Steel Authority of India's premises where he dedicated to the nation the RSP project and also saw the functioning of the new plate mill installed as part of a Rs 12,000 crore modernisation programme.
Under the expansion project, the steel plant's capacity has been raised from 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 4.5 MTPA. The Prime Minister said India has huge potential in the steel sector which is also linked to national security and defence issues.
"We have huge resources and minerals, and instead of exporting raw material, we can do value addition here to sell quality products in the global market," the Prime Minister said.
He further said that India is also focusing on manufacturing warships and the RSP and its employees have a great role to play in it. The high-quality steel manufactured here is being used in tanks used by the Indian Army, Modi said.
Terming Rourkela as the town that has given India the strength of steel, he said RSP plays a key role in the nation's defence. The Prime Minister said the world was looking at India again with optimism.
He invited investors from across the world to invest in India.
He emphasised, in particular, on the need to develop the eastern regions of India, including the states of Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, and Eastern Uttar Pradesh.