Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertlizers, Srikant Jena
Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertlizers, Srikant Jena
Bhubaneswar: After the cancellation of the joint venture agreement with Delhi based Sainik Mining and Allied Services Ltd (SMASL) by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) on Monday, Union Minister Srikant Jena asked the State Government to cancel a similar pact with Vedanta and to provide bauxite to it through OMC at a concessional rate, if necessary.

The joint venture between OMC and SMASL was signed in 2003 to develop Utkal-D coal block having a reserve of 145 MT in Angul district. It had been alleged that the agreement was made in violation of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act-1973.

The joint venture between OMC and Vedanta was signed for bauxite ore exploration from Niyamgiri hills for Vedanta group.

Jena said, instead of offering captive mines, OMC should be allowed to extract bauxite ore from some other reserves, where no environmental issues are involved and provide the raw material to Vedanta Aluminium Ltd for its alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.

A long-term agreement can be signed with Vedanta for supply of bauxite at a concessional rate,” the minister said.

However,if the private company is unable to run the refinery, the state government can keep the plant under its control and operate through OMC, Jena added.

Source: 360 NS