New Delhi: There has been a significant increase in steel prices in recent times. Accusing that this is an artificial rise and black marketing of steel, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, issued an ultimatum to the steel companies. Union Minister Gadkari warned that if the steel prices keep on increasing in this same manner, synthetic and composite fibre bars will have to be considered for road and bridges construction and the union government will permit the use.
Gadkari was speaking at the function organised to commemorate the establishment day of the ‘Industry House’. Increasing steel prices are not justifiable in any way. Neither the cost of raw materials has increased nor had the labour and electricity costs increased. Then why are the prices of steel rising? Not only this, every steel manufacturing company has its iron mines. Therefore, the increase in steel prices is a matter of black marketing. Gadkari also pointed out that even the cement industry has this kind of habit. The steel and cement industries should curb these artificial price increases. Gadkari expressed concerns that increasing steel and cement prices are affecting the infrastructure projects. 40% steel and types of cement used in the country goes into highway construction. Therefore, if these prices do not come down, the policy will have to be charted to use alternative materials. Gadkari warned that if the prices continue to rise in this manner, synthetic and composite fibre bars will be used in roads and bridge construction. Synthetic and composite fibre bars are used all over the world for various structures. This reduces the steel requirement. Gadkari pointed out that synthetic and composite fibre bars do not rust and they are lighter than steel. These bars cannot entirely replace steel but can replace steel in specific applications.
A few days ago, Gadkari had warned the steel and cement industry regarding this. The goal has been set to make the Indian economy a USD 5 trillion economy. Gadkari had said that the increasing steel and cement prices are creating obstacles in the progress. Gadkari had also demanded a regulatory body for the steel and cement sector.
Meanwhile, the Competition Commission of India has started an investigation into the complaints regarding the policies of the cement companies.