New Delhi, Feb 6 (INN): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao called on Union Minister of Steel & Mines Narendra Singh Tomar at latter’s office at Udyog Bhavan here on Friday. He was accompanied with Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreyya.
The meeting revolved around exploring investment and industry potential in and around the Bayyaram mines, located in Khammam district of Telangana. Assuring the political leaders of his total support in this regard, Tomar said, “Whatever can be done, will be done for the people and state of Telangana.” The meeting was attended by the Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Rakesh Singh, Chief Secretary of Telangana De Rajiv Sharma, senior politicians and bureaucrats of Telangana and officials from Ministry of Steel and associated PSUs.
Hinting at insurgency in said parts of Telangana, KCR solicited support of the central government in establishing a steel industry in affected regions. Rakesh Singh apprised the meeting of a feasibility study already conducted by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) on the given subject. Different mechanisms and permutations were discussed to evolve a plan wherein a major industry, whether in mining, steel-making, pellet-making, or a combination of all, could be operationalised efficiently. “State and Central governments must step in with sops to guarantee commercial viability of the project,” added Singh. He averred that the target of achieving 300 million tonne steel production by 2025 gives enough elbowroom to set up green-field capacities. He also suggested that a Special Purpose Vehicle could be initiated for this project, on the lines of those already established in the states of Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
KCR expressed eagerness to facilitate such an investment by providing captive mines, discounted land and connectivity with ports. Other matters, such as return on investment, technology of production, basis for shareholding etc. were also deliberated in detail. It was decided a Task Force comprising central, state and PSU representatives, will conduct an in-depth study of existing alternatives in a time-bound manner, based on which a decision will be taken.
Emphasising on the need to revive mining sector, Tomar urged the Chief Minister to identify mines for auction at the earliest possible time. “We’re framing rules and procedure with regard to auction, and preparing necessary documents to kick-start auctioning of mines,” informed Tomar. “States are exhorted to involve PSUs involved in mining work, to help build a robust mineral inventory database,” he added.