Jajpur: Even as the state government organised the ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave to attract investors to the state, an abysmally high price of iron ores offered by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has seriously hit the prospects of industrialisation in the state, a report said here Thursday.
The state-owned OMC is the lone government agency in Daitari and Sukinda mines. However, its monopoly and profiteering attitude has sent the iron ore and chromite prices skyrocketing. The sharp increase in iron ore price has hit the operations of steel firms in Kalinganagar who do not have their own captive mines.
Firms like Arati Steel in Athagarh, Nilachal Ispat Nigam Ltd, Visa Steel in Kalinganagar, Narbheram Steel in Dhenkanal and other steel firms in the state have suffered a lot due to the spurt in iron ore prices. Many have been forced to shut down their units.
This has come as a rude shock for industry observers even as the 2018-Make in Odisha conclave had attracted Rs 4.19.574 crore investment intent while five mega firms had evinced interest in setting up shop in the state. The turnout had come as a welcome relief for the state government. It was expected that the investment, when realised, will lead to creation of 5,91 lakh jobs in the state.
Sources said OMC has doubled the price of iron ore produced from Daitari mines from Rs 2000 per mt to Rs 4,600 over last two years. The price rise has disrupted steel production in various steel firms despite a fall in price of pig iron and sponge iron ores. As a result, various steel firms are suffering losses for the rise in iron ore prices.
This has come at a time when private mining firm like Sirajuddin has reduced Rs 1000 per mt of iron ores. However, the steel firms dependent on OMC are at a loss as the state-owned firm is not reducing the price of iron ores. The loss suffered by the steel firms has resulted in job loss.
A senior executive level officer of a steel firm on condition of anonymity termed the price rise of iron ores by OMC unreasonable. He demanded that those steel firms who are purchasing iron ores from OMC since a long time should be supplied raw materials at a discounted rate.
When contacted, Subrat Mishra, regional manager of OMC at Daitari said he has no role in price fixation and all decisions are taken in the head office. The price of iron ores is fixed as per market demand through e. tender process, he added.