Government again warns against steel price hike

June 11th, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 11 (IANS) Any hike in steel prices is unjustifiable as the cost of iron ore and coking coal have come down since last year, Steel Secretary P.K. Rastogi said here Thursday.
“Prices of raw materials, that is coking coal and iron ore, have gone down. I don’t think it is justifiable that the price of steel should go up,” Rastogi told a TV news channel.

His comments come a day after Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh cautioned steel manufacturers against imposing a hike.

“The government will take a stringent view of any steel price hike as it would not be justified,” the minister had said.

Echoing this stance, Rastogi said the state-run Steel Authority of India and its subsidiary, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, have negotiated long-term contracts with global suppliers for coking coal supplies at prices 60 percent lower than last year’s.

“There is no case for increasing the price of steel,” Rastogi maintained.

The government has targeted increasing steel production to 124 million tonnes by 2011-12, from 52 million tonnes produced in 2008-09. Consumption rose 6 percent and production 2.5 percent in April-May.

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