Centre has no control over steel prices, says Virbhadra Singh

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Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Mar 21(ANI): Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday said that the Centre has no control over the pricing of steel as it is the market forces which influence it, however, the government intends to ensure price-curb.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of a function organized to mark the opening of the Laboratory for Soil and Leaf Inspection of Apples here, Singh said the Centre is trying its best to keep steel prices down

"The rise in price of steel price is lesser than it was earlier. Though, the Union Government has no control over its prices. Of course, the government is trying to exert moral pressure on it and is trying to keep the prices down so that the common people can use it easily," Singh said.

He further noted that the prices of steel are not that much high that could be considered alarming.

"The prices are low comparatively; earlier it touched the mark of rupees 6,000. Sometimes the prices are high and sometimes low. Still, the prices have not reached at an alarming situation," Singh added.

It may be recalled that Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had claimed that the steel sector is expected to grow 6-9 percent in 2010 on higher demand from the real estate, construction and automobile sectors.

Indian steel market for both long and flat products, which had surged by more than 10 per cent since March beginning, seems to be stabilizing as the daily surge has stopped since March 16 and weakness in input material and long products is being seen for two consecutive days.

Indian steel buyers have rushed to the market to secure large volumes since March beginning resulting in huge surge in market prices in anticipation of mid term price hike by steel majors.

Although Indian steel mills remain buoyant on prices, citing cost pressures, trend in last two days as on March 19 signal possibility of some correction, especially for long products. (ANI)

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