Iron Ore Shortage Dents Iron & Steel Industry in Odisha
The Pioneer reported that due to the shortage of iron ore on 2020-21, Odisha-based iron ore pellet, sponge iron & steel plants could not produce as per their installed capacities. As per information from the State Government’s Steel & Mines Department “Out of 31.69- million tonne per annum installed capacity, the pellet plants produced 22.76 million tonne, out of 15 million tonne per annum installed capacity, sponge iron plants produced only 7.82 million tonne in 2020-21 and out of the total installed capacity of steel of 33 million tonne per annum, steel plants produced 20.5 million tonne in FY 2021-21.”
The State Government is estimated to lose revenue of over INR 7,770 crore in the form of GST alone because of the underutilisation of the installed capacities of steel, pellet and sponge iron plants.
Besides, there is additional loss of employment of over lakhs of local people who would have otherwise been employed for inward and outward movement of materials and operations of the plants, as per industry estimate. Industry experts attribute this capacity underutilisation primarily to sale of iron ore by merchant mines to outside-Odisha plants creating an artificial scarcity of raw material within the State.
In last financial year, Odisha merchant mines produced 23per cent less iron ore compared to the year 2019-20. During the year, around 80per cent of the iron ore produced in Odisha was taken outside the State.