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Scrapping of Obulapuram mining allotment to OMC sought
Coal blocks should also be allotted to RINL, says CITU leader
VISAKHAPATNAM: CITU all-India general secretary Tapan Sen on Wednesday said Obulapuram and Bayyaram iron ore mines in Andhra Pradesh should be allotted immediately to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL).
The allotment would provide the much-needed raw material security to RINL, the corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, which was spending approximately Rs.5,000 a tonne for procuring iron ore from others as against Rs.400 by those having captive mines, he told The Hindu.
“It gives an impression that despite the same party rule at the Centre and in AP, mines are not being allotted to RINL with an ulterior motive as it is in the public sector. RINL can't afford to engage a corporate lobbyist like Niira Radia,” he said.
The Obulapuram mining allotment to Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) should be scrapped and a fresh order be issued in favour of RINL. He said the Bayyaram mining allotment, which had been cancelled, should be granted to RINL.
Asked to comment on RINL picking up 51 per cent equity in Eastern Investments Ltd (EIL) to have control over mines owned by Orissa Minerals Company Limited (OMDC) by paying Rs. 361 crores, he said the move might not benefit RINL though it would provide some relief.
Mr. Sen, a CPI (M) MP and polit bureau member, said RINL move might run into rough whether if one of the shareholders raised an objection at the board meeting of OMDC which is part of Bird of Group of Companies. The minerals company owns 200 million tonnes of iron ore reserves in Orissa. He said it could take three to four years to remove all obstacles and get iron ore from OMDC and pointed out that at any cost, iron ore from mines within AP would always help RINL in saving the cost towards freight.
Mr. Sen said coal blocks should also be allotted to RINL as a majority of blocks allotted to private companies had remained unutilised. To a query, he said RINL had to go for IPO in future to meet its fund requirement for expansion.
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