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TISCO PLANS TO CUT STEEL PRICE REBATES 

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By FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT in Jamshedpur
  • Published 1.03.99
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Jamshedpur, March 1 :     Tata Steel today ruled out raising steel prices because of a 4 per cent hike in freight rates, but said it would reduce the rebates on its listed prices. At present, a tonne of HR coil is priced at about Rs 16,000 and CR coil at Rs 20,000. Tisco used to provide rebates of Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 per tonne. Tisco managing director J.J. Irani told reporters here today: ?It is a big relief that the government has not done away with certain measures taken recently. This includes fixing of a floor price below which steel cannot be imported. The Modvat credit rate has been increased to 100 per cent and interest on pre- and pro-shipment credit has been kept low. These will help boost the industry,? Irani said. ?The encouragement provided to the housing sector... will ultimately help the steel sector as there will be an increase in demand for steel and cement. The budget has shown a tilt towards boosting agriculture. This, too, will have an impact on the steel market,? he added. Irani reiterated the company?s stand on concentrating on the core sectors. ?We have been closing down uneconomic units and opening new ones that are productive like the cold rolling mill. We are also selling off non-core businesses like the cement unit,?? Irani said. Irani spoke against the efficacy of small scale steel industry in the country. ?These industries thrive on scrap and power, which are both extremely expensive. We work on iron ore and coke that are cheap. They can never compete with the integrated steel plants. There is no justification for their existence,? he said.