Steel industry urges SAIL to change dealership policy – ET Infra

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LUDHIANA: Small traders and former dealers of public sector steel company Steel Authority of India (SAIL) are demanding a change in its dealership policy. According to them, there’s only one distributor in the entire state for the sale of TMT bars, which is causing issues such as availability of the products to the end consumers at high rates and delay in deliveries.

The businessmen are demanding ease of the current criteria for becoming a SAIL distributor, which is allegedly not in favour of the small traders.

Ludhiana Beopar Mandal (LBM) president Maninderpal Singh Guliani said, “SAIL’s distributorship policy has ruined the businesses of small traders in both rural and urban sector. Under the policy, only one distributor has been appointed in Punjab whereas earlier a network of small traders used to exist in cities and towns across India.”

“The new policy is beneficial for only big influential traders as the SAIL has fixed monthly commitment quantity as 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes to become a distributor,” he added. He further said that small traders cannot commit such huge quantity as it requires huge amount of money. LBM also sent a letter to the SAIL chairman, union steel minister and other authorities, demanding that the dealership policy of the public sector undertaking (PSU) be made suitable for the small traders as well.

“We urge the SAIL chairman to take notice of this issue and resolve it. This will not only break the monopoly of lone distributors but also improve SAIL’s supply system and benefit the end customer,” added Guliani

LBM secretary Kawaljit Singh said, “From 2007-2017, SAIL had started supplying its products directly to small traders. Within a few years, SAIL products had reached each and every village throughout the country. That had ended the monopoly system created by big influential traders.”

“Suddenly, after 2017, SAIL introduced its distributorship policy, under which it appointed distributors and stopped supplying products directly to small traders and dealers both in rural and urban areas. This policy change has caused huge setback to us,” he added.

LBM general secretary Baljit Singh said, “Under the new distributorship policy, only one distributor has been appointment for sale of TMT bars in a big consumer state like Punjab. Going by the state’s demography, at least 18-20 distributors should be appointed.”

He further said, “SAIL must ease the minimum quantity criteria. The businessmen are even ready to pay advance for the consignments.”

  • Published On Jun 12, 2023 at 12:24 PM IST

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