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Steel units and sponge iron makers operating in the state without raw material linkages have demanded holding of separate e-auctions for local end-use industries and bidders having units outside the state.
“There should be separate e-auctions for Odisha-based industries and units located outside the state. While units outside the state will only pay commission to the state government for the ore bought through auction, local units are contributing in many ways like payment of taxes and employment generation,” said P L Kandoi, president, All Odisha Steel Federation (AOSF), a body representing the interests of local steel units and sponge iron manufacturers.
AOSF has urged the state government to keep base rates reasonable for e-auction of minerals. Fifty per cent of the quantum of ore to be sold through e-auction should be made available to the local players at base rate while the remaining 50 per cent can be sold at prevailing market rates, Kandoi said.
At a stakeholders’ meeting conducted by the state steel & mines department, AOSF gave a string of suggestions for implementing e-auction of iron ore, chrome ore and manganese.
The steel federation has demanded that state owned mining PSU Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) should sell entire available quantity of iron ore to local units at such reserve price on long-term linkage basis, as has been done by OMC for bauxite with aluminium units.
“There should be monthly e-auctions on pre-fixed dates. Each consuming unit should be tied up with each mine of nearest location. Monthly quantity of each unit should be fixed and no unit should be allowed to bid for more than 50 per cent quantity of his monthly quota. Moreover, no bidder should be allowed to bid for 100 per cent of any single lot and should be restricted to 25-33 per cent for each bidder,” AOSF stated in its memorandum submitted to the state government.
Stating that there should be a committee consisting of representatives from government, mine owners and consuming industries to monitor e-auction process, AOSF said no trader or exporter should be allowed to participate in the auction.
The stakeholders’ meeting on e-auction was also attended by Odisha Sponge Iron Manufacturers’ Association (OSIMA) and Eastern Zone Mining Association (EZMA).
Rajesh Verma, secretary (steel & mines) said, “We have asked the different stakeholders to submit their views on e-auction within a week. MSTC, which will offer the e-auction platform, has explained the methodologies to the stakeholders.”
Asked if e-auction would start from April 1 this year, Verma said, “It is better if e-auction can be implemented from April 1 but we are not fixing any timeline for the process.”
S K Tripathi, chairman and managing director of MSTC said, “MSTC is a service provider and we are going to offer an e-auction platform in Odisha. We have elaborate arrangements for conduct of e-auction.”