Odisha end users must get priority in iron ore auction: Jindal

Bhubaneswar: Welcoming Odisha government’s recent notification for auction of mines under the new MMDR Act, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal today said the companies having end use plants in the state should get priority in the bidding process.

“Giving priority to the state-based plants, who have invested in thousands of crores here, willbenefit in Odisha in creating more employment and bringing socio-economic development for people,” Jindal told reporters here after meeting state’s Chief Secretary A P Padhi.

Jindal added the process should be speedily completed.

“People of the state will not get benefit if companies invested in some other state,” he said.

Once the local industries get priority, this wouldease raw material availability for the end use plants in Odisha, he said adding, steel plants located in Odisha were facing difficult times.

Asked about his company’s participation in the bidding, Jindal said “JSPL will consider the idea of participating in the iron ore auction.”

Noting the steel industry was in a very bad shape, he said companies here were running at a loss because of dumping of steel by Chinese, Japanese and Korean industries at very low price.

“We are hopefulthattheGovernmentof India will take necessary action to protect the steel industry,” Jindal said.

InOdisha, there has been huge investment in the steel sector, which were incurring loss. A number of iron plants and pellet plants in the state have already closed down, he said adding, thousands of jobs have been also been lost.

Meanwhile, in a regulatory filing, Jindal Steel & Power today said its board has allowed lenders of its arm Jindal Power Ltd to convert their debt into equity in its power project at Tamnar, Chhattisgarh in case of default.

Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) is a subsidiary of Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL).

“The Board of Directors of the company has through resolution passed…Approved giving of the right…To the lenders of JPL for its 1200 MW thermal power project situated at Tamnar, district Raigarh, Chhattisgarh (Phase III Project) for conversion of their loan into equity share capital of JPL in the event of default,” JSPL said.