By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, February 1, 2018: 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. Odisha Government should take up the issue with union government to open and run the closed iron ore mines through ordinance or other means, so that iron ore production increases and its price comes down,” Jindal said, adding that it would ease the iron ore supply situation as well as help the State to realise the balance penalty from the non-operating leaseholders.

Jindal on Thursday met chief secretary A.P. Padhi and industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra here. He also met minister for mines and steel Prafulla Kumar Mallik.

Jindal disclosed that around one lakh direct employment and 2.5 lakh indirect employments has been hit due to closure of mines.

He further pointed out “The steel industry in Odisha is importing coal and limestone. If iron ore is to be imported then steel industry in Odisha is doomed. Odisha industries are not being able to compete in the international market.”

He claimed that except three steel companies, all other steel companies has become insolvent and gone to NCLT.

If iron ore price is not brought down, it will impact these companies too, Jindal asserted.

JSPL has invested more than Rs 33,000 crore at Angul in Odisha. “If we won t get iron ore at affordable price, how will the company become competitive and give thousands of jobs, he asked.

He also demanded for increasing availability of railway rakes for transfer of raw material for industries and removal of day time embargo. He also requested the State to implement freight rates as notified.

Similarly he also demanded to increase coal production by MCL to make coal available for power generation.

Besides, he also approached the State government to roll back in the hike in electricity duty rate which has been hiked from Rs 0.30 to Rs 0.55 on self-consumption of power from CPP.

“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.

The chief secretary is understood to have 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.

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