Odisha-based steel industries face iron ore shortage
Iron ore production at Odisha fell by more than 31 million tonnes, from 142 million tonnes in 2019-2020 to 111 million tonnes in fiscal year 2020-21, according to official data.
Due to lower production and increased exports, local industries have to pay around Rs 10,000 per tonne of iron ore, up from Rs 2,200 per MT in June last year.
They claimed that due to an unprecedented increase in the price of iron ore, many units had become unviable or on the verge of closing.
Industrial organizations such as the Association of Sponge Iron Manufacturers of Orissa and the Kalinga
The association has already raised the issue with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Secretary and Secretary of Steel and Mines to keep iron ore prices reasonable so that the steel industries in the State can survive and make a profit.
“There should be an increase in the production of iron ore. Second, captive miners should not participate in the auction process,” said PL Kandoi, chairman of the Kalinga Nagar Industries Association.
He said there should be a special provision for the fair price of iron ore for buyers of LTL (less than full trucks) so that the state’s steel industries can survive and make some margin.
Odisha Sponge Iron Manufacturing Association chairman Yogesh Dalmia also opposed the current auction process, saying the auction of iron ore by the state-owned OMC company should be conducted on a monthly basis and not bimonthly.
Despite the auction, 80% of the iron ore is expected to be reserved for industries based in Odisha, Dalmia said.