New Delhi, April 2: The Centre has asked a committee of secretaries to assess price movements daily instead of every week.
The committee on monitoring prices is headed by the cabinet secretary.
Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said inflation was a matter of continuous monitoring and the finance ministry was looking at it closely, but we should not be looking for day-to-day responses.
As part of the plan to control prices, steel secretary R.S. Pandey today held a meeting with steel-makers who assured him they would not increase prices.
Primary producers (big players) are holding steel prices, Pandey said, adding that secondary steel producers would refrain from exports to improve local supplies.
Along with the governments initiative to discourage export of iron ore, the railways have reclassified iron ore products from Class 170 to Class 180, which will increase the transportation charge by about 5 to 6 per cent.
The railways, however, cut the port congestion surcharge from 60 to 30 per cent on ore meant for domestic use, and increased the surcharge for ore meant for exports to 100 per cent with immediate effect.
But officials said these measures would not have much impact on steel prices as the transportation cost on its final price was minuscule.
The government has directed the steel industry to reduce prices by 10 to 20 per cent within a month.
The government is also considering introducing duty on steel exports, import duty cuts, introduction of ad valorem duty structure for ore exports and reduction in excise duty on steel from 14 per cent to 8 per cent to increase imports and discourage exports.
Steel prices have risen almost 25 to 30 per cent between January and March and are likely to go up further.