Nitin Gadkari: Indian government may be forced to change policy after steep steel price hikes

Friday, 18 December 2020 12:15:10 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Close on the heels of criticizing domestic steel producers for “hiking prices without reason”, India’s minister for highways, Nitin Gadkari, has communicated with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi seeking intervention to rein in price rises or else the government may be forced to change policies and encourage use of alternative technologies, the minister told a group of industrialists on Friday, December 18.

Drawing the attention of the Indian prime minister to the 55 percent hike in steel prices over the last six months, Nitin Gadkari in his communication said that high steel prices were making government projects unviable and also claimed that cement and steel manufacturers were forming cartels to push up prices.

“I have written to the Prime Minister on the 55 percent increase in steel prices, asking for a decision to be taken on this,” Gadkari said.

“Long-term policies are required as the increase in price is not matched by the rise in input costs. A price increase of 15-20 percent could be understandable. Producers can enhance productivity to increase profits,” he added.

The minister said that alternatives to steel were being explored like Malaysian and Singapore technologies, while he cited the example of cement, where price increases had forced government highway projects to abandon 100 percent concrete roads and revert back to the use of bitumen.

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