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Tata Steel CEO steps down as president of Indian Steel Association

Singapore — Tata Steel Ltd.'s CEO T. V. Narendran abruptly stepped down as president of the New Delhi-based Indian Steel Association, the industry's premier industry body in the country, well ahead of the two-year term expiration, sources at ISA member companies told S&P Global Platts on Sunday.

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The presidency runs for two years and Narendran's term was set to expire in August.

Sources told Platts that disagreements have arisen within member companies about the Indian government's consideration to auction captive iron ore mines held by steel companies.

According to recent media reports, India's Ministry of Mines has suggested auctions of such mines without any first right of refusal bringing in early termination of captive leases from 2025 to 2030.

This move would likely hurt Tata Steel's India operations, given it is the only private steel company in India to possess captive reserves of iron ore, sources said.

Tata Steel and the association didn't immediately respond to an e-mailed query outside business hours on Sunday.

Formed in 2014, ISA is an umbrella industry body representing 18 full and affiliate members, including the top steel producing companies in India such as Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Steel Authority of India Ltd., ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.

ISA is in close touch with the government on matters affecting the steel industry and the resignation is likely to hinder the industry body's advocacy efforts amid industry challenges owing to the COVID-19, sources said.

Past presidents of ISA include C.S. Verma, past chairman of the Steel Authority of India, and Sajjan Jindal, chairman of JSW Steel.

Narendran is also on the boards of Tata Steel Ltd. and Tata Steel Europe, and is on the executive committee of the World Steel Association.