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All Odisha Steel Federation (AOSF) urge Odisha government to open mines

Faced with raw material scarcity, steel producers in Odisha have urged the state government to increase the availability of iron ore and chrome ore by opening all closed mines.

Members of All Odisha Steel Federation (AOSF) said most of the steel manufacturing companies were facing closure due to non-availability of adequate raw materials at an "affordable price".

We are not asking for captive mines. We want the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation to supply us raw materials at affordable prices so that we can compete with other national and global players. If the state government does not pay heed to our appeal, all steel industries will be forced to shut down in the next three to six months," AOSF president PL Kandoi said on Tuesday.

Steel sector in Odisha is going through tough times after some mining scams were exposed and subsequent investigation by Justice MB Shah Commission. Most of the iron ore mines have shut operations, while the ones that are functioning are charging "exorbitant" rates.

Nearly two lakh people engaged in over one hundred steel and sponge iron plants would be retrenched if plants are shut down, Kandoi added.

The federation urged the government to fix a price cap on raw materials, enlist all existing manufacturing units for their requirement of iron ore, chrome ore on long-term basis, and rationalise freight rates and water cess.

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