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Steel industry body asks Odisha to clear bottlenecks

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Bhubaneswar, June 4:

With Odisha’s many mineral based industries facing bottlenecks, a delegation of the newly formed Indian Steel Association on Thursday urged the state government to solve the problems faced by the industry.

Delegation of Indian Steel Association with Chief SecretaryMembers of eight integrated steel producers of the country – Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), Tata Steel, Jindal Stainless, MESCO Steel, Essar Steel, Bhusan steel and Bhusan Power, and Steel Ltd – urged the government to resolve the issues including raw material problem.

“The steel industry today is facing a lot of challenges and importing raw material from China, Japan and (South) Korea. All the major players are incurring huge losses even after investing about Rs.2 lakh crore and generating about one lakh employment in Odisha,” JSPL chairman Naveen Jindal told the media here after meeting Odisha Chief Secretary G.C. Pati.

He said the state government has been supportive but it has to be more supportive for sustainable industrialisation in Odisha.

As the iron ore and chrome availability was very low leading to very high prices, the industry body requested the government to enhance the iron ore production by state-run Odisha Mining Corporation and merchant miners to meet the ore shortage.

T.V. Narendran, managing director of Tata Steel said: “We discussed various issues starting from infrastructure to raw material shortage… I am confident that the Odisha steel industry would become stronger.”

Chief Secretary Pati informed the delegation that during auction of non-coal blocks, the state government has been considering giving preference to the state based steel industry, which has already made substantial investments and generated employment.

(IANS)