Bhubaneswar, July 27 (IANS) Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal on Friday requested the Odisha government to intervene in the issue of increasing iron ore price and freight rate in the state.
“While iron ore price in international marketing is decreasing, the same in Odisha is increasing. Also the transporters are increasing the freight rate time to time. This adds to the challenges faced by the steel industries in the state,” Jindal told media persons after meeting Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi here.
He also said that there is scarcity of coal for steel industries.
“The premium for coal in e-auction by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) goes up to 100 per cent. In Odisha, we are buying world’s costliest coal through e-auction. MCL and Coal India should increase production and then only the steel industry can run efficiently,” said Jindal.
He said the consistent increase of input price for the steel industry is resulting in hiked cost of production.
The steel industries are facing difficulties as the raw material prices are increasing, whereas the price of finished steel products is going down, he added.
During, April to July 2018, steel prices have reduced from Rs 41,000 to Rs 39,000 per tonne, whereas prices of iron ore lumps have surged up by 10.58 per cent from Rs 4,725 to Rs 5,225 per tonne and fines by 17 per cent from Rs 2,050 to Rs 2,400 per tonne.
Jindal requested the state government to take immediate steps to increase iron ore availability for the industries in competitive price and implement the notification regarding freight rate for mineral transport in the state.
He also noted that a number of steel industries are under National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
“Barring three steel industry players, like JSW, Tata Steel and JSPL, all other steel industry companies have been referred to NCLT. It’s very unfortunate. Therefore the government should intervene to rationalize the input prices and the transportation rates in the interest of overall economy of the state,” he added.
JSPL has invested Rs 35,000 crore in the steel sector in the state, which includes India’s largest pelletisation complex of 9 MTPA capacity at Barbil in Keonjhar district and Odisha’s largest steel plant of 6 MTPA capacity in Angul district.