Steel manufacturers not to hike prices for nowAugust 6th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) With inflation hovering around 12 percent, the government seems to have convinced steel majors not to revise prices after their voluntary moratorium ends Aug 7. Sources in the ministry of steel Wednesday said the state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd or SAIL has agreed not to go in for an “immediate hike” in steel prices.
“There is no immediate reason to go in for upward price revision for steel products, although the steel firms have been pressing for it for quite some time,” said a ministry official, who did not want to be named.
He said that as inflation continued to maintain an upward trend at 11.98 percent for the week ended July 19, the government was left with no option but to persuade the steel companies to hold back the prices for some more time.
JSW Steel vice-chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal Wednesday said there was no move to increase steel prices this month.
“We are not going to increase the steel prices this month,” said Jindal, also the president of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said at a function July 17 that the government was not against the interests of industry, and companies were free to revise prices but in a rational manner.
“The government does not fix prices for steel products, and we do not want industry players to suffer in terms of profit at all. How much profit they should earn is the issue the company must look into before taking any decision,” Paswan said at a steel industry conclave held here.
Steel manufacturers at a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh May 7 agreed to reduce prices of flat steel products by Rs.4,000 a tonne and by Rs.2,000 per tonne in the case of structural steel, and not to revise prices for the next three months.
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