Further correction in steel prices expected: Paswan

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New Delhi, Sept 1 (UNI) Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the government has taken measures to stabilise prices of steel in the country even as international prices soared and is committed to take further steps if the need arises.

Inaugurating the Annual Conference of the International Manganese Institute here, Mr Paswan said the prices of steel have shown an upward trend globally putting inflationary pressure on the domestic economy.

He appreciated the Indian steel industry's decision to maintain a steady price line.

As per the present indications, he said, further correction in the prices of steel is expected.

''However, the prices of critical inputs, such as coking coal have increased more sharply than the prices of steel. This is a cause for concern,'' he said.

To maintain the sector's growth momentum in future, it is necessary that the prices of steel as well as its raw material are maintained at reasonable levels, he added.

The Minister felt that a short-term approach on the pricing of critical raw materials and steel has the potential to slowdown growth.

He said, considering the projected growth of steel production in the coming years, there will be huge demand gap for ferro alloys and manganese ore.

''This provides a great window of opportunity for India and other countries to join hands through joint ventures in the area of mining, ferro alloy production, beneficiation of low grade ores and transfer of technologies in the related fields,'' Mr Paswan said.

The Minister said, since reserves of manganese ore are limited in the country, our export policy has been formulated with a view to conserve high grade ores.

Export of lumpy/blended manganese ore with more than 46 per cent Manganese is restricted and permitted under license. Currently, export of manganese ore other than the above is permitted through state trading agencies (MMTC and MOIL) within an overall ceiling of seven lakh tones per annum, at present.

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