Odisha steel units seek preference in non-coal auction process

Bhubaneswar (IANS) Steel units which have invested significantly on their projects in Odisha on Friday appealed the state government to reserve mega non-coal blocks for existing state based end-use plants as per Mineral Auction Rules 2015 and to give them preference in auction process.

A delegation of Indian Steel Association (ISA) met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and requested his intervention to overcome challenges faced by steel industries in the state.

“Steel industries have invested thousands of crores in the state. While more than Rs.2 lakh crore has been invested, about 30 million tonne of steel capacity has already been created or is going to be created in the state,” said Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) chairman Naveen Jindal.

He said the existing units should be given priority in the upcoming iron ore auctions so that they can run their units without any hassle.

The state governments are empowered to decide the end use of a mineral lease as per section 6 (3) of Mineral Auction Rules, 2015.

“We requested immediate intervention of the chief minister to address the issues in the interest of the state and its inclusive growth,” said ISA secretary general Sanak Mishra.

The delegation also requested Patnaik to align royalty as per actual grade and size of iron ore as mandated in the act and followed by all other states, while identifying and strengthening mineral logistics corridors by improving road conditions, adding critical infrastructures and eliminating constraints like day time embargo.

The ISA representatives urged the government intervention for completion of critical railway projects, fast tracking of National Waterway projects and incentivising eco-friendly long distance slurry pipeline projects.

The industry body also requested the state government to review and levy water charges as per actual withdrawal and waiver of water Conservation Fund.

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