With mineral-based industries of the State facing raw material shortage, the Government is planning to send a team of officers to Karnataka to study modalities of e-auction of iron ore.
This is despite the fact that the State industries are strongly opposing the proposed e-auctioning of iron ore of the Government.
The Steel and Mines Department has decided to sent a team of officials to Karnataka to study modalities adopted by the State for e-auction of iron ore and challenges faced by it. The team will submit a report to the State Government suggesting measures to be adopted, if any, for implementation of the programme, official sources said.
Inspired by the Karnataka model, where e-auction of minerals was put in place since 2011 following a Supreme Court order, the State Government decided to adopt the mechanism when it faced opposition from private mines owners for sale of mineral through Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). The private mines owners of the State have been objecting to the proposed e-auctioning move of the Government under the plea that the apex court ruling is valid only for Karnataka. The State run OMC has the monopoly in deciding the price of iron as its controls iron ore trade of the State. OMC is selling high grade iron ore at a price decided every quarter. It has already started e-auction of chrome ore, in which it has near monopoly.
The State Government’s direction to private miners for selling half of their production to local steel plants was rejected by the Centre.The inter-ministerial committee set up by the State Government to find a solution to the raw material requirement of the State based industries is yet to submit its report.