ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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MAHARASHTRA- And So to Delhi

that steps have been taken to procure the requisite quantity of steel If the HEC, which has become a drag on the progress of numerous projects, including Bokaro, due to its failure' to keep to supply schedules is able to deliver the necessary equipment according to the new schedule the Kiriburu project would be completed by the third quarter of 1973 as against the original date of end-1972. Some other projects also cannot be completed due to such reasons as delay in engineering consultancy work by the National Industrial Development Corporation, slow progress in the construction of tunnel by the National Projects Construction Corporation and, once again, delays in HEC supplying equipment Some of the delay also arises due to disputes between the organisations that are entrusted with the responsibility for mining, transporting and marketing iron ore. The recent price dispute between the NMDC and the MMTC in respect of iron ore is an instance of this type. Despite the Union Finance Ministry's award on the price of iron ore, the Ministry of Steel and Mines is reported to have taken a decision to refer the issue again to the Committee of Secretaries as it found the recommended price to be unreasonable and too low to cover the costs of production of the NMDC, It is difficult to appreciate why the agency that does the job of mining iron ore cannot also extend its operation and undertake exports directly instead of depending on another organisation like the MMTC. The MMTC's role in iron ore exports is only that of an intermediary with a minimal responsibility for finding out export outlets and getting long-term export contracts, for which it gets a commission. Iron ore is mined by the NMDC, transported by the railways, transhipped to ore carriers by the port agencies and carried to the destined export markets by Indian or foreign ore carriers. The MMTC does not have any role in all these functions. Besides, arranging iron ore exports is one among many functions of the MMTC.

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