Steelmakers meet CM; seek preference in iron ore auction

Bhubaneswar: Seeking preference for steelmakers in the upcoming iron ore mines auction, representatives of the Indian Steel Association (ISA) met chief minister Naveen Patnaik today.

“The steel industries in India need support from the government as steel makers from China and some other countries dumping cheap steel forcing the domestic industries to cut down the price. This is one of the reasons behind the huge loss being incurred by the Indian steel industries,” said Naveen Jindal, the chairman of the Indian Steel Association.

A delegation of the ISA today met chief minister Naveen Patnaik and sought his support as the steel industries have invested about Rs 2 lakh crore in the state and provided employment to lakhs of people.

“The state government need to protect and support us as steel makers have made huge investment in Odisha,” Jindal said.

The association said that in 2014-15, the steel industry has contributed about Rs 13,000 Crore to Government Exchequers. Besides, more than 300 Crore has been spent on peripheral development activities in the year.

“We have been facing high input cost of raw material, logistics constraints, high utility charges such as water charges and contribution towards water conservation Fund and problems in raw material security for End Use Plants,” the association said.

The delegation comprising representatives from different steel industries drew attention of the chief minister basically on four points. “We have urged the chief minister to direct the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and merchant miners to increase production of iron ore in order to overcome scarcity of raw material,” said ISA secretary General Sanak Mishra.

As the price of raw materials remained high due to less production of iron ore in the state, the local steel industries are finding it difficult to compete with the imported steel, pointed out Mishra.

The association also sought relief over the water cess being imposed by the state government on the steel industries.

“We want water cess on the actual consumption of water and not on the allocation earlier made by the government,” Mishra said adding that steel industries by now have been very cautious on the use of water.