Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal on Saturday met top state government officials in the Odisha government including Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy and Secretaries of Steel and Mines, Industry and Water Resources. During his meeting, the steel tycoon reportedly sought steps to provide raw material security and to reserve iron ore mines for companies which have set up steel plants in Odisha.
Key government officials who Jindal met were Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Industries) Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary (Home) Sanjeev Chopra, Odisha Mining Corporation’s Managing Director Vineel Krishna, Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, Principal Secretary (Forest & Environment) Mona Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary (Steel & Mines) RK Sharma, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister (Special Initiatives) R Balakrishnan, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Water Resources) Vishal Gagan.
According to news agency PTI, Jindal also emphasised the need to give preference in iron ore auctions to companies which have already invested in Odisha.
After his meeting the top government officials, Jindal said, “Companies which have invested thousands of crores in steel plants and have created employment in thousands should be given preference in auction of iron ore. We have requested for giving iron ore mines first for captive consumption and then for merchant mining.”
JSPL has invested Rs 47,000 crore in Odisha to set up the largest steel plant in the state. The company’s small mine is near depletion and it does not have captive iron ore and coal mines for the plant. Jindal said that his company’s investment in Odisha needed raw material security to become viable.
Stating that his company buys nearly one million tonnes iron ore every month in Odisha thereby becoming the largest buyer of the raw material in the state, Jindal said that iron ore price ought to be reduced since global steel prices had fallen.
“Steel price has been reduced by about 30 per cent. But iron ore price has not been decreased accordingly. There is no reduction in price of coal by Coal India. The government needs to ensure that people who have invested in the state are taken care of,” PTI quoted him as saying.
For the first time in the world, the JSPL has set up a coal gasification plant along with a 2 MTPA DRI Plant on the basis of the coal block allotted to it in Angul. Since most of the coal blocks were cancelled by the Supreme Court, Jindal was hopeful that the company would secure new coal block, if the Indian government started fresh auctions for steel companies and coal gasification.