New Delhi, Aug 22 : The Centre on Friday asked steel producers to cut prices as and when there was further fall of rates in the global markets.
P K Rastogi, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, told reporters that Global steel prices have already softened and if the trend continued, it called for a reduction in the domestic market too.
"Steel prices are maintained by the producers and if there is a hike, the Government will step in. We have options, we will examine the case if the prices are increased," Rastogi further said.
Rastogi said that the Government is seeking a long term agreement between the steel producers and miners to ensure supply security and check against price volatility.
Demand for steel has come down globally, especially from the infrastructure sector, resulting in softening of rates.
Meanwhile, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) Chairman S K Roongta said: "The gap between domestic and international steel prices has reduced. They have not come at par. If the gap narrows down further, we may look at revising our prices downward. As of now the PSU is maintaining the price line."
The domestic steel producers have been holding the price line for over three months now to help the Government in checking the rising inflation.
On Thursday, the inflation has touched a 16-year high of 12.63 per cent for the week ended August 9.