The Hindu Business Line reported that Competition Commission of India has launched a probe against Indian steel companies for forming a cartel to increase prices consistently over the last seven months suo motu and it will scrutinise the business strategies of leading steel companies to check if they have colluded to jack up prices artificially.
The demand for an investigation into the prices hikes had been voiced from several quarters, including auto and real estate industries that use steel, saying that the recent spike in steel prices making them uncompetitive both in global and domestic markets. Calling for a regulator to check the rising steel prices, India’s Union Road Transport Minister Mr Nitin Gadkari had last month said that every steel company has its own iron ore mines and there has been no increase in labour and power costs, but they are increasing rates.
Indian steel companies have, however, maintained that domestic price, despite the hikes, remained lower than international rates and that price in China, Europe and the US is higher than those in India.
This is not the first time that the Competition Commission of India is investigating steel companies for alleged cartelisation. In its investigation from 2008, and lasting till 2014, the v had probed SAIL and Tata Steel but later said it found no evidence against these companies.