Members of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), on Tuesday, organised a meeting and expressed serious concern about rising steel prices. Prices of all kinds of steel raw material, including TMT, bar, round, pig iron have shot up by more than Rs 8,000 per ton in the past one month and all business associations have criticised the Central government for failing to control the price rise.
CICU president Upkar Singh Ahuja said, “Everyday increase in prices of steel is hitting MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) units manufacturing auto parts, bicycle, sewing machines, electrical machinery, textile machinery, fasteners, hand tools and other products that use steel. Industries are reducing their production due to uncertain steel prices.” He said there has been an increase of 35% in steel rates in one year.
Industrialists Rajnish Ahuja and S C Ralhan said a CICU delegation would soon meet the finance minister and steel minister and press for the formation of a steel regulatory authority to keep a check on prices of steel and take strict action against companies flouting norms by hiking prices without increasing input costs.
Rajnish Ahuja said, “The government is encouraging exports of prime steel due to the recent ban on steel production in China. However, export of prime steel does not add value and it should be discouraged or banned. There is a lobby of speculators who control steel prices by giving SMS about prices to the industry. This SMS service which encourages speculation should be totally banned.”
CICU has also decided to give a representation to Punjab chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh to ban the SMS service. The meeting was attended by Vinod Dhall, Honey Sethi, Jagtar Singh, Gurdit Singh, Rajat Gupta, Parminderjit Singh Sidhu, Inderpal Singh, S S Bedi, K K Garg, Harkesh Mittal and others.