Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) chairman Naveen Jindal today urged Odisha government to resume operations of iron ore mines under a new legislative framework with a deferred penalty mechanism.

"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 increase 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.

Seeking reduction of iron ore price, the JSPL chairman maintained that around 1 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 will not survive. 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 said.

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 the thousands of jobs, he asked.

If iron ore mines become operational, lakhs of people will get employment and the state government will also get royalty and fund in DMF, Jindal said.

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 Rs0.30 to Rs0.55 on self consumption of power from CPP.

Jindal also met Odisha Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik.

On the Union Budget, 2018-19, Jindal said, "Reduction of corporate tax for companies having turn over less than Rs 250 crore is a good step. Spending on infrastructure like road, railway and highways is also a welcome step. This will increase steel demand".