Govt charting out road map for Steel Directorate

Bhubaneswar: Three days after the Cabinet nod for setting up of a Steel Directorate, the State government has started preparing road map for the new entity that would exclusively look after the affairs of the steel industry in the state.

The government is in the process of outlining the function, characteristics and features of the directorate, sources in the Steel and Mines department said.

The directorate is being formed at a time when unceratinty looms large over a mega steel plant proposed by steel major Posco at Paradip. Earlier, Arcellor-Mittal had backed out of its plans to set up a 12 MTPA plant in Keonjhar.

The directorate would look after companies facing serious problems, especially related to raw material. Besides, it would also provide assistance to industries in land acquisition, green clearance, local employment and transportation.

This apart, it would also work to create downstream industries, sources added.

“It will be a composite department. The additional secretary of the Steel and Mines department will be its director. But, we would also engage some outside consultants and advisors,” chief secretary AP Padhi said.

On the other hand, experts have questioned the need for such an entity. “The motive behind formation of a special directorate could have been satisfied if the director of mines and director of geology were strengthened. A separate steel section could have been formed. Moreover, a technical official should be appointed as the director instead of the additional secretary of Steel and mines department, who is a complete non-technical officer (OAS officer),” BK Mohanty, former mines director, said.