NITI Aayog discusses Odisha steel industry’s problems

Setting a target of about 300 million tonnes for India’s steel production by 2025, the NITI Aayog on Thursday discussed with the steel and mines industry bodies in Odisha the problems they face so they can be addressed and policy changes be made to achieve the goal.

“We took a firsthand appraisal of Odisha steel industry and discussed how to reach India producing about 300 mt in 2025. We discussed what changes we should make in plan and policies so that in a cost effective manner we are able to reach that goal,” NITI Aayog member V.K. Saraswat told reporters here.

He said several issues including mining, coal, transport, capital cost and duties structure were discussed with the industries and state government officials.

“There are several issues which are responsible for present production rate. All of them have to be looked at in a cohesive manner to make sure that we are in a position to sail through when the entire world is going through a slump as per the steel market,” he said.

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About the cheap steel products being imported to the country, Saraswat said the steel industries have to ensure that their produces are competitive in market.

He said the steel industries and mining bodies mentioned their problems including transportation and non-availability of raw materials.

All Odisha Steel Federation (AOSF) representative P.L. Kandoi said they raised issues pertaining to pricing and availability of minerals.

He said the miners are intentionally quoting such a high rates that the industry can’t afford to buy the raw material and sought a level playing field where both industries and miners can be benefited.

Several industries representatives including Jindal Steel and Power Ltd managing director Ravi Uppal attended the meeting.

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