Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wrote a letter to the Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday, asking the Centre to fix the long term concessional rates for iron ore and sought an immediate rollback of iron ore price hike affected by National Mineral Development Corporation.
"In his letter written to Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the Chief Minister said that due to unprecedented hike in the price of iron ore by NMDC affected from January 20, 2020, local small industries as well as steel and sponge iron industries are facing huge difficulty in procuring iron ore from NMDC mines in Chhattisgarh which has further interrupted steel production," said a press release.
It added that the long period of lockdown has adversely affected all kinds of economic activities in Chhattisgarh. Bhupesh Baghel said that the iron ore based small units in the State are on the verge of closure due to non-availability of iron ore that is required from NDMC mines in concessional rates. He said the situation is causing unemployment and exodus of labourers.
Referring to another letter issued earlier in January on the same subject, the Chief Minister said he has not received information regarding the steps taken in response to the price hike.
"CM Baghel had stated that he was appraised by the Sponge Iron Association that the NMDC has hiked the basic price of iron ore lump and DRCLO by Rs 230 per tonne on the price effective before January 3, 2020. Thereafter, again on January 22, 2020, the price of iron ore - lump and DRCLO has been hiked by Rs 470 per tonne," it said.
The Chief Minister noted that the base price of iron ore has been hiked by Rs 700, which after paired with taxes rises to by Rs 875 per tonne. He said this has further led to the price hike of steel by Rs 2,000 per tonne. He urged the Union Steel Minister to immediately withdraw the hiked iron ore rates by NMDC and demanded a long term concessional rate to be fixed for iron ore based small and sponge iron units in the Chhattisgarh.
(With inputs from ANI)
(Image credits: PTI File photo)