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Mining rules altered

Bhubaneswar, Jan.16: The Odisha government has decided not to allow any industrial house either to export or to swap ore while setting up industries in the state.

The government will also not make any commitment about allotting mining lease to the corporate houses while signing MoUs.

As per the new guidelines issued by the government, mineral concession already recommended and granted will be allowed exclusively for captive use and no export or swapping of minerals would be permitted.

Former chief of the National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO), Chitta Ranjan Pradhan said: “Odisha government’s unilateral decision to scrap swapping clause is likely to affect the upcoming Posco project near Paradip. They will be forced to either scale down their capacity or may back out from the project.”

Earlier, Posco had insisted on swapping of iron ores to produce better quality steel and the state government had signed an MoU with the south Korean steel maker on June, 2006, agreeing to the condition.

However, it triggered a public uproar across the state.

Industrialists said the recent guidelines would affect Odisha’s industrialisation process. While 49 industries have signed MoUs to set up steel industries in the state, only 29 have started partial production.

As per the guidelines, the clause relating to recommendation of coal block for captive use of the industry will be deleted. “Similarly, there will be no clause committing grant of or recommendation for grant of mineral concession will be retained,” the guidelines said.