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The Steel Manufacturers Association of Maharashtra (SMAM) on Thursday sought restoration of power subsidies first given by the Devendra Fadnavis government in 2019 to boost the ailing sector in some parts of the state.

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In 2019, the then BJP-led government had started supply of power at Rs 5 per unit for steel units in Marathwada, Vidarbha and Khandesh, but this relief was withdrawn on June 23 this year, SMAM president Yogesh Mandhani said.

“This scrapping of subsidy led to a drastic fall in industrial growth and production. Now, neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh provide electricity at Rs 5.25 per unit, while it is Rs 8 per unit in Maharashtra,” he said.

“Due to this, 36 steel units have shut down, and 10 units have shifted base to Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. We want the Eknath Shinde-Fadnavis government to bring back this subsidy to give a boost to the ailing sector,” he claimed.

Steel manufacturing unit owner Satish Agarwal said prices were volatile since the COVID-19 pandemic, which was also impacting the construction sector. PTI COR BNM BNM

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