Union Steel Minister blames AP

The Union steel ministry, in its latest revelation, said it is yet to get some details from the state government, while Andhra Pradesh maintains that all the details and data sought by MECON to prepare a final technical and feasibility report to set up an integrated steel plant at Kadapa have been furnished.

A high-powered task force comprising representatives from Central and state governments, SAIL, RINL, NMDC, MECON and MSTC is working to evolve a plan and prepare a technical report to set up the steel plant at Kadapa. The task force was set up after a preliminary study by the Centre said the steel plant was financially unviable.

Union Steel Minister, Birender Singh, while recently reviewing the implementation of major projects related to the steel sector, instructed MECON to give its technical report on the proposed Kadapa steel plant to the Task Force immediately without waiting for any other details that are yet to be provided by the state government.

He instructed that MECON may continuously follow up with the state government for the details of mining leases and availability of iron ore at the earliest so as to enable the Task Force to evaluate the technical report of the project and its feasibility. It was also decided that the Task Force would study the mode of investment for the proposed steel plant as public sector, private sector, joint venture or a combination of any or all these.

Establishment of an integrated steel plant at Kadapa was assured by the Centre in the AP Reorganisation Act. The officials of the MECON, during a review meeting recently, told Union steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh that they had finalised all that was required for the preparation of the technical report and were waiting for data relating to the availability of iron ore, which was essential for the preparation of the feasibility report.

This data is to be provided by the state government and is still awaited. However, on an earlier occasion, the state government had said that all the details sought by MECON, including those related to raw material, had been furnished in June itself.

MECON, along with AP government officials, visited the iron ore mineral areas and the proposed site from January 1, 2018 to January 6, 2018 and discussed the issue. All the information required by MECON has been furnished by the government of AP. MECON furnished its additional queries on June 15, 2018 for which the state government furnished full details by June 22, 2018, such as industrial incentives to be given as per AP State Industrial Policy, providing land for infrastructural requirement, giving power to run the plant, water facility, railway connectivity, raw material etc.

MECON is yet to finalise its feasibility report and share with the states concerned. The Government of India has to take necessary action in a time bound manner for the establishment of the steel plant, said a GO that was issued recently appointing a committee to negotiate with the Centre for Kadapa Steel Plant.

MECON, appointed by the Task Force, has prepared a draft technical report and is awaiting further data and details to prepare a final technical and feasibility report.

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