August 28, 2012: The government has not detected any case of cartelisation in the steel sector during last three years, the Parliament was informed.
"The cases of cartelisation fall under purview of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) under the Competition Act, 2002. No case of cartelisation in steel sector pertaining to last three years has been reported," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
He further said that steel prices in the country have increased in the country by up to 43% between June 2009 and July 2012 amid skyrocketing prices of the raw materials like iron ore and coking coal.
"Despite the increase in the price of critical raw materials like coking coal and iron ore by about 88% and 97%, respectively, during June 2009 to July 2012, the price of steel products like HR-coils and TMT bars have increased by about 43% and 41%, respectively," the Minister said.
According to the Steel Ministry data, prices of HR-coils and TMT bars have been rising steadily since June 2009 levels of Rs 34,289 per tonne and Rs 35,479 per tonne. In July this year, prices were hovering at Rs 49,050 per tonne for HR-coils and at Rs 50,000 per tonne for TMT bars.
To check the rising steel prices, the government has taken various measures, including reducing import duty to zero for coking coal, steel melting scrap and steam coal and increasing the export duty to 30% for all grades of iron ore, Verma said.
Replying to a separate question, the Minister also said that import of finished steel in the country has increased marginally by about 2.4% to 6.83 million tonnes (mt) in the last fiscal.
In 2011-12, steel production in the country increased by about 7% to 73.42 mt, while domestic consumption went up by 6.78% to 70.92 mt. Besides, Indian steel producers also earned Rs 19,921.78 crore in the last fiscal through exporting a little over 4 mt.
Source: The Economic Times
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