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Synthetic fibre and composite fibre as alternatives to steel: Gadkari

Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari
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 Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari

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The minister for road transport and highways said the Centre would permit the use of synthetic fibre and composite fibre bars as alternatives to steel products for building roads and bridges.

The minister for road transport and highways said the Centre would permit the use of synthetic fibre and composite fibre bars as alternatives to steel products for building roads and bridges.

"Every steel producer has got its own iron ore mines. So, jacking up prices is a type of black marketing and the cement industry is also habitual of this. I am going to settle my issue with them. Now we are planning to allow synthetic fibre in place of steel," Gadkari was quoted as saying by the paper.

The minister's comments come at a time when both cement and steel prices have been increasing, which have led to a spike in the cost of infrastructure projects such as highways.

Speaking at the foundation day of an industry house in Mumbai, Gadkari said the price hike by the steel industry was "not justifiable" since there was no increase in labour, raw material and power costs.

"Nearly 40 percent of the steel and cement are used in highway construction. If they don't reduce prices, we will formulate alternative policies," he said.

Earlier in January, Gadkari had said there was a cartel in the cement and steel industries, adding that cement manufacturers were exploiting the situation in the real estate sector.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in December 2020 began an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by cement companies, including ACC and Ambuja Cements.

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