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Steel : Good Times

Good Times The continuous rise in steel prices has been causing concern to user industries and within the government. Since mid2002, when the steel industry began climbing out of a prolonged recession, prices have risen by around Rs 5,000 per tonne and further increases across grades are very much on the cards. Consumer industries, including the automobile and construction sectors, claim that the price rise is pushing up their cost of production, and the government is believed to be even considering a pre-budget duty reduction on steel imports. Perhaps mindful of this possibility, steel makers have put off another projected round of price hikes. There have also been reports of official quarters toying with ideas of bringing back regulation of steel prices in some form or the other. While there may be a case for adjustment of import duties as a means to discipline steel producers, bringing back regulation is a regressive idea that must be dropped forthwith.

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