The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt unfazed by steel price surge

New Delhi, Nov. 6 (PTI): The government today ruled out any move to intervene to check soaring steel prices since last 18 months which has hit the consumer industry hard.

“The government has no role to play in it...Prices are market driven...Movement in international prices is reflected in domestic prices,” Union steel minister B.K. Tripathi told reporters here.

The minister said whenever international steel prices go up, the domestic manufacturers match the prices. “But I have asked all the major steel producers to increase the prices rationally and they have accepted it,” he added.

The ministry has also given some respite to the consumer industry by recommending to the commerce ministry to withdraw notification whereby all imports of steel in the country had to conform to BIS certification.

“I hope this will help the consumers to readily access their requirements of steel and help promote consumption of steel in the country as well as generally help in stabilising prices,” the minister added.

He, however, said there would be no compromise on the quality of steel. All imports would be monitored to ensure that defective steel was not dumped in the country.

Appreciating the performance of public sector units under the steel ministry, Tripathi said all the PSUs have improved their bottomlines with specific examples of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL).

The minister said steps should be taken to increase steel consumption in the country which is hovering around 29 kg per capita annually against over 400 kg in the developed countries.

In tune with the vision of the country becoming a developed economy by 2020, the ministry is formulating a policy with a major thrust on measures to increase consumption of steel.

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