BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of Energy, Coal, Mines and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on Friday said resistance from domestic market has prevented Nalco from making value addition to alumina which is why the Central PSU exports it to overseas market.
At the valedictory ceremony of Make In Odisha Conclave here in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Goyal said when he took over reins of the Mines Ministry, he was shocked to learn that Nalco’s manufacturing capacity is less than 50 per cent of the peers in private sector.
“I made a study to understand why and I was taken aback by the fact that we are producing alumina, the raw materials for aluminium, in large volumes but exporting it to other countries instead of adding value in India and selling finished products,’’ he said.
The Union Minister said he found out that there is not only resistance from the domestic market to value addition by Nalco but the PSU has also been put under pressure not to do so and instead export alumina to other countries despite the matter being deliberated for the last 10 to 12 years.
Goyal said he was pleased to know that Odisha Government is keen to make value addition to mineral-based products which have the potential to generate huge employment opportunities.
He said the transparent coal block auction process adopted by the Narendra Modi Government has ensured that the State would receive at least `70,000 crore from just 12 coal blocks. The proceeds can be used by the State Government for development spending. The petrochemical complex at Paradip and Sagaramala Project would also bring in huge employment to Odisha, Goyal said.
The Union Minister said Odisha can make the distance from being a consuming to a producing State which would give it natural advantage in GST share instead of engaging in negotiations.
Announcing that all villages of the State would be electrified by May 2018, Goyal urged the State to invest in renewable energy. He also said LED bulbs would reach every household of the State in next year and a half. Of the 18 crore LED lights distributed in the country so far, 73 lakh has been distributed in Odisha.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Centre has extended full support to the investors’ meet. While the investment targets to bring in 30 lakh additional jobs, it would be a challenge for the Government as the youth population of Odisha is a daunting 1.25 crore.
He said his Ministry’s gas pipeline project connecting 12 districts of Odisha and energy from agri-waste project would immensely benefit the State.
The valedictory ceremony of the business investors’ meet saw a spectacular presentation on Odisha 2036 by Chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority Subroto Bagchi.