Tata Steel is back on the Indian Steel Association nearly a year after parting with the controversial issue of government pushing to end captive mine leases by 2025 from 2030.
In fact, TV Narendran, CEO of Tata Steel, resigned as president of the association and withdrew membership of the company from the association in May last year before the end of his term in office, as some of the steel companies supported the government’s decision.
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In a major turnaround, Tata Steel, together with its subsidiaries Tata Steel BSL (formerly Bhushan Steel) and Tata Steel Long Products, rejoined the ISA in April.
Interestingly, the country’s largest steel producer, JSW Steel, has also added its recently acquired Bhushan Power and Steel to the association.
Dilip Oommen, president of the Indian Steel Association, said the association has played a critical role over the years in solving critical problems affecting the industry.
In order to establish parity between old iron ore mine owners and steel companies that win mines in auctions, the government changed the Mining and Minerals Act (Development and Regulations) in 2015 and extended the validity of leases for own mines to 2030, but expanded them to 2025 These mines should be auctioned after the lease expires.
Last year JSW Steel had acquired four iron ore mines, which had a huge premium of over 135 percent.
Although Tata Steel has rejoined the association, disagreements persist between the industries over extending the expiration date for captive mining leases, a steel company official said.
The Steel Ministry has insisted that the industry bury its difference and speak with one voice, especially when user industries are putting pressure on the steady rise in steel prices, he added.
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In February the Indian competition commission suo moto started an investigation into whether large steel companies had formed a cartel to increase prices.
In order to solve the problems of the user industry, the government had waived the anti-dumping tariff for some steel products by the end of September and halved the tariff to 7.5 percent for the import of semi-finished, flat and long products made of non-alloyed alloys and stainless steel.