Jajpur: Repeated failures of e-auctions to sell iron ore and chromites have sparked fear of closure of many industrial houses in Kalinganagar of this district. This has created a huge fear of job losses for thousands of employees, a report said. Sources said that e-auction failed due to due to wrong policies and high floor price fixed by the state-owned body, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). No steps have been taken so far despite repeated complaints by the various companies operating out of Kalinganagar. They have demanded immediate intervention of the Odisha government to solve the crisis. Industries that do not have their own mines are now staring at closure.
As profits are declining, many firms have been forced to shelve their investment plans. This has resulted in large number of dismissals of employees in the Kalinganagar Industrial Complex during the last two year. Sources said companies like Visa Steel, Rohit Ferrotech, KJ Ispat and few others do not have their own captive mines. Hence they are dependent on external sources for raw materials. There are many companies that are fully dependent on OMC for iron ore and chromites. They have repeatedly urged the OMC to supply raw materials at fair prices, but without success. So these companies are suffering huge losses. It has been alleged that the Kalinganagar Industries Association (KNIA) had drawn the attention of the government several times on this issue. However, the problems continue to plague the companies.
Sources said OMC supplies raw materials like iron ore and chromites through e-auctions. However, a look at the e-auctions held in the last four months paints a scary picture. Out of the total iron ore stocks for sale, only 61 per cent, six per cent, 41 per cent and 57 per cent were sold through eauctions held in the months of May, June, July and August respectively. Similarly, only 20 per cent, 32 per cent, 25 per cent and 18 per cent of chromites were sold for the same period.
Despite such poor results, OMC instead of reducing the floor price has chosen to increase it. KNIA pointed out that many industrial plants have curtailed production and adopted restrictive measures. This has resulted in heavy losses for them as well as for the state exchequer. KNIA members have demanded before the state government and OMC to adopt reverse bidding process for sale of iron ore and chromites stocks. The industrial firms are facing problems in production despite availability of huge stocks of raw materials while the employees are staring at job losses, they added
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