Bhubaneswar: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal on Thursday sought the Odisha government’s intervention to bring down iron ore prices and run closed mines for the survival of the steel industry.
“The steel industry is facing difficulties in iron ore supply as its price has gone up by about 100 per cent. The Odisha government should take up the issue with the Centre to re-open and run closed iron ore mines through ordinance or other means, so that iron ore production increases and price comes down,” said Jindal.
Jindal on Thursday met Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi and Industries Secretary Sanjeev Chopra at the state Secretariat here.
Jindal also met Minister for Mines and Steel Prafulla Kumar Mallik.
He said closure of iron ore mines and increase in iron ore price has affected Odisha’s steel industry.
“The steel industry in Odisha is importing coal and limestone. If iron ore is to be imported, then the steel industry in Odisha will not survive,” said Jindal.
Except for three steel companies, all other firms have become insolvent and gone to the National Company Law Tribunal.
If iron ore price is not brought down, it will impact these companies too, the JSPL Chairman added.
“JSPL has invested more than Rs 33,000 crore in Angul plant. If we won’t get iron ore at an affordable price, how will the company become competitive and give thousands of jobs that have been created,” he asked.
“If iron ore mines become operational, lakhs of people will get employment. The state government will also get royalty and fund to District Mineral Foundation (DMF). So it is very important to make the closed iron ore mines operational as soon as possible,” he said.
Jindal demanded increasing availability of railway rakes for transfer of raw material for industries.
“We are not able to run the plant at full capacity because of unavailability or railway rakes. Steps should be taken to make improve railway rakes availability,” he demanded.
Similarly, he also demanded increasing coal production by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd to make coal available for power generation.
The Chief Secretary assured Jindal that the issues would be examine as the possible course of action like promulgating an ordinance is in the central government’s domain. However, representations from the steel industry and mines’ associations can be examined for taking it up with the union government for necessary action, an official said. (IANS)