BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Monday decided to put in place a long-term raw material linkage policy to supply iron ore and chrome ore to industries that have signed MoUs with it.
The decision, taken at a meeting of the state cabinet headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, aims at encouraging establishment of mineral-based industries in the state, official sources said.
It follows repeated demands from different industrial houses for assured raw material supply. “The Odisha Mining Corporation will enter into five-year contracts with industries having MoUs with the state government,” chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati said, briefing mediapersons.
The state-owned corporation will provide half of its production or iron ore to such industries while it would sell the rest in the open market. “The industries will get assured supply, but will have to pay the market price,” the chief secretary noted.
Official sources said the OMC will have a sales agreement with such industries akin to central PSUs National Mineral Development Corporation and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited. “We will consider supplying bauxite and manganese through similar arrangements in future,” a senior officer said.
The chief secretary said if need arises a similar approach could be considered for non-MoU industries as well.
The cabinet further decided to amend the Orissa Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 2004, with a view to curb environment degradation due to mining of minor minerals. The decision is in consonance with a Supreme Court ruling in February, 2013, that mining of minor minerals shall not be taken up without an environment clearance from the competent authority.
The state-level environment impact assessment authority would give such clearance, the chief secretary informed. Going by existing practices, for mining of minor minerals (sand, stone quarries and et al) in less than five hectare no mining plan or environment clearance is needed. But hereafter it cannot be done without mining plan and green nod.
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