Mining & Metals industry should invest more & tap opportunities in Odisha: Steel & Mines Minister, Prafulla Kumar Mallik

New Delhi: Mr Prafulla Kumar Mallik, Minister for Steel & Mines and Works, Govt of Odisha today invited the Mining and Metals industry to participate in greater volumes in the state. He also said that Odisha offers immense opportunities for the industry with a flexible and supporting administration.

Addressing the virtual session on FICCI Policy Round Table with the Government of Odisha, Mr Mallik said that the Odisha has attracted one of the highest investments in many sectors during the pandemic. Odisha has successfully auctioned 31 mineral blocks including, iron ore, manganese, graphite, limestone within the stipulated timeframe. “I urge the industry to explore opportunities in the Odisha. The state has a flexible and supporting administration with skilled man-power and vast reserves of natural resources,” he said. The state also has excellent transportation and communication network, along with adequate power supply and investor-friendly environment, he added.

Mr Mallik also urged the existing companies to further expand their investments in the state. The mining and minerals industry can further aim to increase their capacity utilization by setting up the ancillary industries, he added.

He also assured industry for all the support from the state government. “The government is working to boost infrastructure, logistics and improve the investment climate in the state. The Mining & Metals sector will have a significant role to play towards the growth of the state GDP and employment opportunities,” emphasized Mr Mallik.

He further said that the mining industry has a significant multiplier effect in the economy along with employment generation. While we have come a long way in terms of our technology, there is scope for further modernization in this sector. “Mining activities are bound to progress further. Our government is working to enhance and optimise the logistic issue between the mines and plants along with ports. We are also working to ensure the required infrastructure, transportation and support are in place,” noted Mr Mallik.

Dr Nitin Jawale, Special Secretary, Industries Department, Govt of Odisha and Managing Director, IPICOL highlighted upon the Vision 2030 of the state government. “The opportunity it provides to the investors in the state is immense and it will benefit the sectors from needle to aerospace and defence. Mining and metals are going to be at the centre stage of the plan. We will provide all necessary support to solve the industry issues,” he added.

Mr Satya Priya Rath, Joint Secretary, Department of Finance, Govt of Odisha said that for sustainable growth of the sector there is a need for setting up of more large-scale industries and related downstream industries. The state has put in place an industrial-friendly MSME policy to attract investments in the state with incentives. “We have land bank facility; single-window clearance mechanism and availability of power is also not an issue in the state. The mining sector has a huge potential for growth and employment generation,” he added.

Mr Subhrakant Panda, Vice President, FICCI and Managing Director, Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd said that Odisha has been at the forefront of reforms. “Odisha has transformed into a manufacturing hub under Shri Naveen Patnaik’s leadership. His govt’s focus on value addition has changed the state’s skyline. Proactive steps to smoothen the transition of legacy mines through auctions speaks of efficiency and inherent capability of State’s administrative machinery,” he added.

Mr Sandeep Sharma, Senior AIG (Forest), MoEF&CC, Govt of India highlighted upon the support extended to the industry post auctioning of mines in 2020 and the various enabling steps taken for the continuity of mining operations.

Mr Rahul Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CEO, Aluminium & Power, Vedanta Ltd said that mining and manufacturing are key pillars of Odisha’s economy. The growth of Odisha is a testimony of state govt’s support towards sustainable development.

Ms Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Chairperson, Odisha State Council, FICCI and Managing Director, Sambad Group said that the state is rich in natural resources and it is the best time to make use of these and find best ways to tape these opportunities.

Mr V R Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee and MD, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd said that we need to look at how we can speed up logistics in favour of the industry.

Mr Harmit Singh Sethi, Co-Chair, FICCI Cement Committee and ED & Group Head, Corporate Affairs & Incubation, Dalmia Bharat Group stressed on the need to fast track the land acquisition process that will help the industry.

Mr Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Ltd, Ms Rita Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, MESCO Steel, Mr Rajesh Gupta, Cluster Head (Sambalpur), Hindalco Industries Ltd, Mr Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay, Resident Director (Odisha), Jindal Stainless Ltd, Mr Baswaraj Dalgade, Assistant General Manager, JSW Steel Ltd and Mr Rajib Maitra, Director (Mining, Metals & Industrial), Deloitte Consulting also shared their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges for the mining and metals industries in the state of Odisha.