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R S Pandey: Nerves of steel


Rakteem Katakey & Ajay Modi  |  New Delhi 

Officials in the country's steel companies also point to the crucial role Pandey, a 1972 batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre, played in bringing down the customs duty on scrap, coking coal and ferro alloys and getting the government to convert its specific duty on iron ore exports to an ad valorem rate. All of which, the industry swears, helped the industry deal with the price cuts the government asked it to make.

High steel prices, it is well known, have played a major role in causing the current inflation spike, and it took a lot of work on Pandey's part (the fact that he spoke for the government obviously helped!) to get industry to agree to as many as three price cuts between February and May this year, even as it complained of the rising cost of iron ore. Steel producers were also convinced to hold prices for another three months.

Ensuring that product prices are kept low while making sure the industry doesn't bleed to death is, of course, even more of a problem in the petroleum sector. In addition, there's the other issue of just how correct the figures routinely bandied about by the industry on the so-called

First Published: Mon, July 21 2008. 00:00 IST