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VOL IX / ISSUE 10 / APRIL 2021
Auctions: Pitfalls ahead?
We are at a strange cusp. The vaccines are being rolled out and there is a sense of optimism with most people having dropped their masks and social distancing efforts. And yet, cases are on an upswing, denoting that the second wave of the pandemic has gripped India. Inflationary pressures are being felt with costs of input materials rising. “Even so, another outbreak, more lockdowns and restraints, will get unbearable in spite of learning from the initial experience of living with the virus," a recent RBI article said. In steel, the government deems auctions as the only transparent method of resource allocation. However, not a single greenfield mine, among those auctioned, has started operations. While mining costs have shot up to unsustainable levels, key mineral resources have come to be concentrated in a few hands. Therefore, the outcomes have often been unfair and inequitable – quite the opposite of what the policy sought to achieve! Our Cover Story on pg. 20 explores the auctions’ pros and cons one year down the line. Tata Steel’s Scrap Recycling Business, in a first, is branding the material. Impact studies the brand width on pg. 10 The much-awaited Vehicle Scrappage Policy was announced recently. Industry, on pg. 14, explores how it will drive future auto sales and pollution control aspects. Intervista, on pg. 30, focuses on Triveni Turbines’ future plans through a tete-a-tete with Executive Director & CEO Arun Mote. In ExperTalk on pg. 36, Paul Bartholomew, head of S&P Global Platts’ Metals Analytics division, analyses if there is a natural inflection point after months of steel price increases or are markets taking a breather before heading north again?