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NMDC to supply iron ore for proposed Kadapa Steel Plant

Press Trust of India  |  Amaravati 

The Andhra Pradesh government and state owned mining major NMDC will soon sign an MoU for supply of iron ore, a critical raw material, for the proposed Kadapa steel plant plant, foundation for which is planned to be laid next month.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Secretariat here on Friday afternoon and discussed a host of issues, including the critical iron ore linkage for the steel plant.

Jagan had on July 8 announced that a new steel plant would be set up in Kadapa district, foundation for which would be laid on December 26.

"AP government and NMDC will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the supply of iron ore for the proposed steel plant, the Chief Ministers Office later said in a release.

Official sources said it was not yet decided whether the steel plant would be set up by the government or by a private entity.

Whoever sets it up, iron ore is critical and the linkage with NMDC is sure a big deal, a top bureaucrat, who attended the meeting, said.

According to the Chief Minister, the proposed plant would be completed within three years and provide employment to about 20,000 people.

The steel plant issue was incorporated in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 with the Centre promising to explore the feasibility of establishing it.

It had since been a contentious issue between the state and the Central governments with the previous TDP government accusing the latter of not honouring the commitment made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

Alleging that the Centre did not honour its promise, former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had even laid foundation stone for a steel plant on December 27 last year.

The Centre had been maintaining that modalities of investment for thesteelplant would be finalized keeping the best interests of the people of the state in mind once state run consultancy firm MECON prepared the feasibility report.

When it was in the opposition last year, the YSR Congress Party had accused the Chandrababu Naidu government of committing a scam in acquiring land for the steel plant.

When Jagans father late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh, he gave permission to a private entity owned by former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy for setting up a steel plant in Kadapa district.

It, however, did not take off due to the death of Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash and subsequent arrest of Janardhana Reddy in a mining scandal.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 08 2019. 17:20 IST