Will look for alternatives if prices are not lowered, Nitin Gadkari tells steel industry
Earlier in January, Nitin Gadkari had said there was a cartel in the cement and steel industries.
January 24, 2021 / 09:36 AM IST
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on January 23 warned the steel industry that the government will look for alternatives like synthetic fibre bars if prices were not reduced.
The minister for road transport and highways said the Centre would permit the use of synthetic fibre and composite fibre bars as alternatives to steel products for building roads and bridges, The Times of India reported.
"Every steel producer has got its own iron ore mines. So, jacking up prices is a type of black marketing and the cement industry is also habitual of this. I am going to settle my issue with them. Now we are planning to allow synthetic fibre in place of steel," Gadkari was quoted as saying by the paper.
Also read: Steel sector, users in for more shocks as iron ore prices rise further
The minister's comments come at a time when both cement and steel prices have been increasing, which have led to a spike in the cost of infrastructure projects such as highways.
Also read: The steel industry has formed a cartel: fact or fiction?
Speaking at the foundation day of an industry house in Mumbai, Gadkari said the price hike by the steel industry was "not justifiable" since there was no increase in labour, raw material and power costs.
"Nearly 40 percent of the steel and cement are used in highway construction. If they don't reduce prices, we will formulate alternative policies," he said.
Earlier in January, Gadkari had said there was a cartel in the cement and steel industries, adding that cement manufacturers were exploiting the situation in the real estate sector.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in December 2020 began an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by cement companies, including ACC and Ambuja Cements.