Small Steel Users Seek Control on Steel Prices in India
Tribune News Service reportd that Ludhiana based Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation has sent a communication to Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, demanding immediate attention on matter of rising steel prices FICO said the government should take suitable steps to scrutinise the business strategies of steel companies to check if they had cartelised to jack up prices artificially. They wrote “The steel manufacturing giants having monopoly are exporting as much as possible to get the maximum profits. The dependent domestic manufacturers are bearing the brunt as steel is available to them at exorbitant rates. The steep hike in steel prices is not market driven. Stimulus packages have increased the consumption in global market. The prices of steel are at unprecedent highs owing to increased demand amid low allocation of production for the domestic market coupled with minimal imports due to import restrictions imposed by the Centre.”
The Hindu Business Line separately reported that Coimbatore Tamil Nadu based associations representing micro, small and medium enterprises continue to seek government intervention to control the irrational increase in price of raw materials such as iron, steel and non-ferrous materials as survival is under severe threat for thousands of engineering SMEs, which are already reeling under the impact of coronavirus. Divine Bharat Chamber of Commerce MSME Committee Chairperson Mr Shanmuga Velayuthan said “MSME units are forced to supply the materials at loss mainly for their survival. MSME sector is squeezed between the primary producers of raw materials and end users. We request the Union government’s immediate intervention to control the prices through Joint Plant Committee. Alternatively, a regulatory commission could be formed to protect both consumers and producers. The Union government’s intervention in controlling the prices of raw materials will immensely help lakhs of engineering MSMEs that are battling to survive after the impact of pandemic.”
Most of the MSME players accept firm price contracts from government departments, undertakings and private sector and it is really challenging particularly in the case of government departments that float tenders with 180-day validity period and placing orders with the delivery schedule of 6-12 months.