Lack of Long-term Ore Linkage Policy Hits Industries in State
While steel sector in the State is going through a tough time due to acute scarcity of raw material, the indecisiveness of the State Government to formulate a long-term ore linkage policy has adversely impacted the industries.
The inter-ministerial committee on ore supply to local industries submitted its report to the Government on July 19. The State Cabinet will take a final decision on the matter. But, the Steel and Mines department is yet to submit a proposal to the Government for consideration of the Cabinet.
Several representations to the State Government by industries’ federations to find a solution to the problems faced by the steel industries have yielded no result.
“There is no political will of this Government to find a long-term solution to the problems of the mineral-based industries. Senior officers are holding back important files for indefinite period in the absence of clear directives from the Government,” All-Odisha Steel Federation president P L Kandoi said.
The uncertainty in ore supply to the industries has not only affected the industries, but also the investment climate in the State. Investors have started losing confidence in the Government, which has failed to show its firmness on some core issues, he said.
The Government, through a resolution on December 5, 2012, made it mandatory for mining lessees without end-use plants to sell at least 50 per cent of their extracted iron ore to State-based consuming industries. However, the Centre shut down the resolution saying the the State Government has no such authority.
Had the State Government stuck to its decision, the problems of the industries could have been over now, Kandoi said.
The average annual production of iron ore is about 55 million tonnes and half of the production could take care of 255 consuming industries, including 104 sponge iron industries and 45 integrated steel projects.
The issue was discussed in the winter session of the Assembly where members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the ore scarcity.
Industries Minister Niranjan Pujari assured the House that the Government will take a decision soon to streamline ore supply to the State-based industries.