JSPL chairman seeks Odisha govt’s intervention on raw material problems

Bhubaneswar: Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) chairman Naveen Jindal on Friday sought the intervention of the Odisha government to address the increasing iron ore price and freight rate.

Holding a meeting with chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, he said the steel industry is facing iron ore and coal availability problems in the state.

“While iron ore price in international marketing is decreasing, the same in Odisha is increasing. The transporters are also increasing the freight rate time to time in Keonjhar district. This adds to the challenges faced by the steel industries in the state,” said Jindal.

JSPL has invested Rs 35,000 crore in the Barbil plant in Keonjhar district. JSPL is operating India’s largest pellet plant having 9 MTPA capacity. In the last two years, it has made the highest pellet export.

JSPL has recently commissioned Odisha’s largest 6 MTPA capacity steel plant in Angul.

“Not only the iron ore rate hike but also the Keonjhar district transporters are hiking their cost time to time. All these factors are putting the steel industry in great trouble,” said Naveen Jindal.

He also informed that there is a scarcity of coal for steel industries.

“The premium for coal in e-auction by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) goes up to 100%. In Odisha, we are buying world’s costliest coal through e-auction. MCL and Coal India should increase production and then only the steel industry can run efficiently,” said Jindal.

He said the consistent increase of input price for the steel industry is resulting in hiked cost of production.

The steel industries are facing difficulties as the raw material prices are increasing, whereas the price of finished steel products is going down.

He requested the state government to take immediate steps to increase iron ore availability for the industries in competitive price and implement the notification regarding freight rate for mineral transport in the state.

Jindal also met the Principal Secretary (Steel and Mines) R.K. Sharma and Principal Secretary (Industries) Sanjeev Chopra.

Reacting to the problems being faced by the steel industries, Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said the problems being faced by the steel industry here in the state are time to time discussed and addressed.

“They participate in the auction basing on the current market rates. I don’t agree that Odisha’s rate is high. The state government has now made linkage arrangement by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC),” said the Minister.

On transportation issue, he said the government has already directed the concerned district collectors to look after the transporting rate matter.