The government is keeping a close watch on fluctuation of iron-ore prices and is working on a mechanism to be put in place to check price instability, Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said today. “Capping is not our aim. The only thing is to give this impression to the manufacturers may be small or big ones that iron-ore prices are not to be capped but some space is given may be two… three… or six months where there should not be any variation or fluctuation of prices,” the steel minister said.
He said the government is working on a mechanism to be put in place to check fluctuations. He was addressing the media on three-year achievements of the ministry and the road ahead for the steel sector.
“I would like to tell you one thing like I have said earlier that some benchmarking we will put,” he said in reply to a query that whether the government will consider setting up a regulator for iron ore or steel prices.
“This will not happen that prices of iron-ore will fluctuate like Sensex….A mechanism is to be evolved but as I have already explained we are only to guide to facilitate or to make them comfortable for doing business. We don’t want to impose anything which is contradictory…,” the minster said.
On steel prices he said, “There are other factors also which affect the steel prices, but for the time being I should say that we are very comfortable if you see in last 6-7 months there was an increase of Rs 6,000-8,000 per tonne and that is why the industry is now having some comfort level so we don’t want…the industry should suffer”.
China had overproduced and India became victim of dumping, the minister said explaining how China resorted to 25 per cent over-production and dumped it in India.
To safeguard the interest of domestic steel industry, the government has already taken steps like imposition of Minimum Import Price, anti-dumping duty, he explained.
Further, the minister said that there should not be profiteering in the sector.
“If we get rid of profiteering then it will be a big success for us,” he said.
On digital India initiative, he said the ministry is taking forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision of a less cash economy at SAIL township in Ranchi and NMDC township at Bacheli near Jagdalpur.