SAIL not to hike steel prices for next 3 months

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) Paying heed to the government advice, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) today assured that it will not hike prices of the commodity for the next three months despite cost pressures.

''We will not increase the steel prices for the next three months despite the cost pressure,'' company Chairman S K Roongta told reporters at the 'announcement of company's financial results' function here.

He said the export duties levied on the steel industry is ''just a a temporary measure taken by the government.'' If the government is not going to roll back the export duty and the inputs costs remain as high, the company might consider revising the decision after three months, he added.

Later in the day Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the government is waiting for the impact of steel price reduction on inflation, which soared to 7.83 per cent for the week ended May 3.

The steel major's net profit increased 24.97 per cent to Rs 2,376.76 crore in fourth quarter of FY2007-08 against Rs 1,901.88 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

For FY2007-08, the company registered a hike of 21.52 per cent to Rs 7,536.78 crore from Rs 6,202.29 crore in the previous fiscal.

UNI MP AK BD1955

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