Mumbai/ Bhubaneswar: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has pitched for steel industry to be ‘integrated with captive iron ore mining for sustainable growth’ at the ‘India Steel 2017’ Conference today at Mumbai.
Speaking during the session on ‘Interplay of Demand & Supply of Raw Materials in Steel Industry’, Manish Kharbanda, Executive Director and Head of Mines & Minerals, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, stressed on preferential treatment to Steel Industry in mining auction.
“Auction of Iron ore blocks for merchant mining should be done after the steel plants are equipped with captive mines,” he said. In auction, most Iron & Steel plants cannot compete with merchant miners on account of their heavy debt, worsened by low demand & price in the past years.
The State Governments need to conduct faster auction and make sufficient numbers of mineral block available to steel sector based at the respective states to build competitive strength of manufacturing sector. In order to promote scientific mining, larger blocks of mining should be allocated, he added.
More than 75% of the Steel plants do not have captive mines and are dependent on merchant miners and hence the Government should take step to make Iron Ore available at competitive price, Kharbanda insisted when speaking on pricing of Iron ore. The royalty rate of Iron ore is one of the highest in the World and should be reduced. The Government should take steps to ensure iron ore prices to be as competitive as possible for steel companies. “A price band may be set within which iron prices would be allowed to fluctuate or a cost plus formula may be adopted such that all iron ore miners would have to adopt in setting their market selling price,” he said.
‘India Steel 2017’ is being organised by the Ministry of Steel, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to provide a platform to stakeholders and key decision maker from the Steel and other related industry to interact with and explore new business avenues.