Union Steel Ministry asks mineral bearing States to prepare Action Plan

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By Our Correspondent

NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR: The Union Steel Ministry has asked mineral bearing States like Odisha, Goa, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand to prepare an Action Plan to avoid crisis over shortage of iron ore as the major Mining Leases are ending by 31 March, 2020.

According to sources, Government of Odisha is chalking out an Action Plan to meet the situation apart from, expediting the process of auction of iron ore mines.

12 Iron Ore Mines will undergo through the auction process and it has already started, officials admit, adding there will be no delay in auction process. Industry watchers Experts are doubtful about provision of statutory clearances after the auction process is over, which takes longer period to avail.

Sources also said Union Government is harping on reforms through Ease of Doing Business, so that statutory clearances are availed at the earliest.

Sources said that leases of more than 250 Iron Ore mining expiring on 31 March, 2020 while Non Integrated Steel Plants, those which have not captive mines will face huge shortage of iron ore.

Majority of steel plants are dependent on supplies by merchant miners, said sources. Odisha, being a mineral rich state, Union Government has urged the State Government to prepare an Action Plan for meeting the emergency.

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