By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 27, 2018: Alarmed by the rising costs of iron ore and mineral freight in Odisha, steel makers have sought intervention of Odisha government to address the woes of steel companies.

Leading steel maker Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) on Friday sought Odisha government’s intervention into the ‘abnormal’ high price of raw materials such as iron ore and coal in the state.

In an official meeting with chief secretary, A P Padhi, JSPL chairman Naveen Jindal highlighted problems faced by steel industries in the state.

“While Iron Ore price in the international market is decreasing, the same in Odisha is increasing. Also, the transporters are increasing the freight rate from time to time. This adds to the challenges faced by the steel industries in the state,” Jindal told reporters here.

He requested the state government to intervene in the issue of increasing iron ore price and freight rate in Odisha.

              Naveen Jindal

Besides, Jindal rued that there is lack of coal for steel industries in the state. Against this backdrop, the premium for coal at e-auctions conducted by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) shoots up by 100 per cent. “In Odisha, we are buying the world’s costliest coal through e-auction,” he added.

Jindal also urged the MCL and the Coal India to increase production in order to facilitate the smooth running of steel industries in the state.

The consistent increase of input price for the steel industry is resulting in a hiked cost of production whereas the price of finished steel products is going down, Jindal remarked.

Incidentally, most of the steel industries have been admitted to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the government needs to intervene to rationalise input costs and transportation rates in the interest of the state’s overall economy.

During April to July, Jindal said, “Steel prices have been reduced from Rs 41,000 per ton to Rs 39,000 per ton, whereas prices of iron ore lumps has surged by 10.58 percent from Rs 4,725 per ton to Rs 5,225 per tonne and fines by 17 percent from Rs 2,050 to Rs 2,400 per tonne.”

Jindal 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.

JSPL has invested Rs 35,000 crore in the steel sector in the state, which includes India’s largest pelletization complex of 9 MTPA capacity at Barbil in Keonjhar district and Odisha’s largest steel plant of 6 MTPA capacity.

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