Steel Ministry monitoring price rise situation: Prasada

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) The Steel Ministry is closely monitoring the situation arising out of sharp rise in steel prices and has recommended a series of steps including withdrawal of DEPB benefits on steel products as a temporary measure to disincentivise exports.

This was stated by Minister of State for Steel Jitin Prasada in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

He told the members that the measures taken to stabilise the steel prices in the domestic market included cutting import duty on melting scrap from five per cent to zero, reduction in general rate of excise duty from 16 to 14 per cent in the Union budgetary proposals and withdrawal of DEPB benefits on export of various categories of steel products since March 27.

In reply to another question, the minister said compared to international prices, the retail price of steel as prevailing in the Mumbai retail market were lower than the landed cost of these items as on April 15 last.

He said the rise in price of steel was attributable to various factors, both in supply and demand side.

"On the supply side, rise in price of steel can be attributed to a steep rise in the price of critical input materials such as iron ore, coking coal and metcoke in domestic and international markets," Mr Prasada said.

On the demand side, the mismatch in demand and supply was the main problem for the rise in steel prices, he said, adding that the steel sector of the country was deregulated and therefore prices were determined by the interplay of market forces.

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