The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has convened a meeting to iron out the bottlenecks in the implementation of South Korean steel company Posco’s proposed 12 million tonne steel project in Odisha which has been stranded for the last 10 years.
A senior government official told The Indian Express that the top officials of the Odisha government and Union steel and mines ministries would be present in the meet this week wherein the bottlenecks impeding implementation of the Rs 52,000 crore project would be ironed out. However, a source in Posco did not confirm whether the company has been invited for the same.
The move by the PMO comes following the South Korean firm’s decision to “temporarily freeze” the project which was to come up in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district owing to lack of significant progress made in the project.
The project has been hanging fire ever since the firm signed a MoU with the Naveen Patnaik government in June 2005. It has been dogged by land acquisition and other problems.
“The meet has been convened as the Odisha government is keen that we iron out the issues responsible for the delay in the project, which is billed as the biggest foreign direct investment in the steel sector into the country,” the official said.
Cabinet secretary P K Sinha, Odisha chief secretary G C Pati, steel secretary Rakesh Singh and Union mines secretary Balvinder Kumar are expected to attend the meet.
The official said the Centre has received a communication from the Odisha recently wherein the state had sought a review of the stalled project and also expeditious resolution of the hurdles that are impeding the implementation of the project.
The state government is learnt to have conveyed that the commitments made to Posco have global implications and its fructification should be viewed in the context of ‘Make in India’ programme.
The state is worried that early this month Posco has joined hands with the Uttam Galva group promoted by the Miglani family to set up a 3 million tone steel plant at Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district at an estimated investment of Rs 20,000 crore.
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