Sponge iron makers across the country have lodged a protest with the Competition Commission of India on the appointment of SAIL chairman CS Verma as the head of NMDC, as they claim it has triggered “issues of conflict”.
In their complaint filed on November 9, the sponge iron industry has alleged, citing reports, that the price of sponge iron has risen by 13 per cent after Verma assumed charge of the state-owned miner.
The Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association alleged that Verma holding charge of both SAIL and NMDC can kill the competitiveness of other steel firms if iron ore prices are jacked up to a level where their margins come under intense pressure. The complaint also says that SAIL would benefit from this situation to offload its inventories, which has piled up to over one million tonne.
Verma, who is currently in the US for conducting road shows for NMDC told The Indian Express, “We do not need iron ore from NMDC as it has only about 1.3 billion tonnes of ore, while put together all our mines, we (SAIL) have a reserve of over 3 billion tonne. There is nothing to gain from jacking up NMDC prices and we have never contemplated to cause inconveniences to any steel producer.”