Kolkatta: The government has asked the steel producers to keep steel price under check saying that 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 during an interactive session with the members of the Merchant Chamber of Commerce stressing on enhancing the production to moderate the steel prices in the long run.
Prasada said: “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´.”
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-men 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.
The minister also hinted that government might play as a mediator between the iron-ore sellers and steel companies.
Speaking on export of iron-ore, he commented: “We want slowing down of iron-ore exports and imposition of duty. The government would allow export of iron-ore fines as those are not much utilised in the country to allay fears of foreign investors.”
Prasada said that the government would help in adopting new technologies so that steel companies could be able to bring down their input cost adding that 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.
Commenting on the Singur controversy, he said that to overcome the problem of allocation of land, the government has cleared the Resettlement & Rehabilitation Policy and it would be cleared by Parliament.