Ranchi, April 3: Industry representatives have asked for a complete ban on export of iron ore and to open up ore linkages to make sure the raw material is readily available for manufacturing steel.
The state government today invited the views of various stakeholders during a meeting chaired by industry secretary A.P. Singh to incorporate their voices in the new steel policy proposed by the Centre.
The officials of various companies including big-ticket investors in Jharkhand such as SAIL, Tata Steel and JSPL sought better iron ore linkages, in line with that of coal firms, from government of India entities like the National Mineral Development Corporation.
They also called for a change in the definition of ultra-mega steel plant to set a more realistic yardstick of six million tonne (MT) production capacity than 10MT.
The demand for infrastructure upgrade, especially road and rail links, and a provision for offering (source for raw material) only to serious players were also listed as Jharkhand’s priority for betterment of the steel sector.
“We are in the process of incorporating the suggestions from representatives of the steel sector. We received some valuable inputs that could be a part of the steel policy being framed by the Centre to boost production and meet requirements in future,” industry secretary Singh told The Telegraph.
The Centre aims to put in place a new steel policy in six months to pave the way for rapid growth of domestic steel by ensuring faster capacity addition. The government has set up a panel headed by the steel secretary for monitoring the progress on formulation of the new national steel policy.
The Centre has also formed four task forces to study, analyse, consult and formulate draft policy documents on various aspects of the policy.
Sources said the rationale behind reworking the 10MTPA clause for ultra-mega steel plants was the requirement for capital and land as well as infrastructure and mineral.
The ultra-mega steel plant projects are expected to get special incentives from the government of India in future. At present two plants — Tata Steel (Jamshedpur) and SAIL (Bokaro) — have been proposed to target 10 MTPA.
In Jharkhand as well as other parts of the country, land has been a contentious issue, as villagers are apprehensive of parting with their plots due to faulty rehabilitation and resettlement in the past.
Director (industry) Vandana Dadel said today’s discussions were positive and the department would send the suggestions to the Centre.