Industries native to Odisha should get priority in coal allotment: Industry body
Speaking at a deliberation organised by the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) here, they said that unless the issue is addressed quickly, it would hit the future of many major stakeholders and in turn affect the overall industrial climate under the long-term vision of 'Make in Odisha'.
"Odisha is one of the largest coal producing states in the country. However, it is unfortunate that our own coal-based industries are not getting priority in our own land. It is a serious concern for all of us and we should take it up at appropriate forums at the state and national level with the help of the key stakeholders, said UCCI president Ramesh Mahapatra.
The chamber has already flagged the issue with the Odisha Chief Secretary and requested the state government to intervene. If required, the chamber said, it would approach the Union coal minister, he added.
In his address, Abhijit Pati, CEO Vedanta Ltd said: "Due to coal scarcity, power plants are operating at 60-70 per cent of their installed capacity which is ultimately hampering the interests of the state and nation.
SS Upadhyaya of Jindal Stainless Ltd raised the issue linked with transportation of coal to the designated plants. Non-availability of rakes is worsening the coal crisis in the state. Imported coal often lies stagnant at Paradip, Dhamra and other ports as there are no rakes to transport them.
Industries in Odisha are operating with coal inventory as low as 3-4 days, which is extremely stressing for the operation." If bigger industries like Jindal Stainless are facing huge losses because of this, one can imagine the situation of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), he added.
"Coal security of industries native to Odisha needs to be the priority for the state," Upadhyaya said. A significant chunk of the participating companies were captive power producers and major coal users across diverse industry sectors like primary aluminium, iron, steel, cement, paper, fertilisers and others.
Senior management executives and top brass of more than 20 of the states biggest business houses, producers and manufacturers like Vedanta, NALCO, JSL, Hindalco, Tata Sponge, JK Paper, Facor Power and others participated in the dialogue.
(With inputs from agencies.)