Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik discussed mining issues with Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affair Minister Pralhad Joshi through video conferencing on Wednesday.
Patnaik emphasised on further mineral reforms to ensure uninterrupted supply of ore to industry and safeguarding the employment and State revenues. Patnaik focussed on the issues that have emerged from the recently-conducted auction of mines, further mineral reforms and other issues related to mineral sector in the State.
“Odisha has been one of the first states to successfully conduct auction of mineral blocks in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court. However, there have been some glitches in commencement in mining operations leading to disruptions in production and dispatch leading to shortage of minerals for end user industries and price rise,” Patnaik said emphasising that such disruptions and uncertainties in production and dispatch are undesirable, especially during pandemic times.
Shortages of ore and resultant high price have posed a challenge for the sponge iron plants, small and medium size steel plants. This has affected the revenues of the State and the employment of the people dependent on the sector, he pointed out. The CM suggested that the State and Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)can play a very important role in maintaining the level of supply of ore to the end user industries at such critical moments.
The Chief Minister requested for early revival of royalty as this will greatly benefit the state, especially in a post covid scenario. He requested the Union Government for an early decision on the issues discussed as the revenues of the State and employment of the people at large are involved.