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Rediff.com  » Business » Govt requests steelmakers to keep price in check

Govt requests steelmakers to keep price in check

Last updated on: August 27, 2008 15:16 IST

The government on Wednesday requested the steel producers to keep steel price under check and said the steel ministry was aware of the producers' problems, too.

"I request all the steel makers present here and those who are not here to keep prices under check," Minister of State for Steel Jitin Prasada said in Kolkata on Wednesday, while interacting with the members of the Merchant Chamber of Commerce.

The government was aware that the prices have shot up in the international market but at the same time it was the duty of the government to keep inflation under check as for the aam aadmi, he said.

The minister said the long term solution to moderate the steel price was increasing production.

Hinting that the government was also trying to solve problems of steel makers, Prasada said, the government in a recent meeting in Bangalore has decided to control the presence of middle-man in iron-ore trade.

Iron-ore is a key raw material for the steel producers and the spiralling prices have put them under tremendous pressure to hike steel prices.

Prasada hinted that government might play as a mediator between the iron-ore sellers and steel companies. 

Speaking on export of iron-ore, Prasada said, "We want slowing down of iron-ore exports and imposition of duty". 

However, to allay fears of foreign investors, the minister said the government would allow export of iron-ore fines as those are not utilised in the country a lot.

Prasada said the government wold help in adopting new technologies so that steel companies could be able to bring down their input cost.

He also said the ministry was keen in having a stake in coking coal blocks in Australia to reduce the coke crisis faced by steel companies.

The government was trying to ensure speedy supply of iron-ore to small and medium steel sector companies, he said.

Asked about the Singur controversy, the minister said, to overcome the problem of allocation of land, the government has cleared the Resettlement & Rehabilitation Policy and it would be cleared by Parliament.

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