May 25, 2011 11:36:17 am
Industrialist Naveen Jindal today advised Indian companies to avoid setting up steel plants on agricultural land.
“Companies proposing to establish steel plants should avoid acquiring agricultural land for their ventures,” Jindal,vice-chairman and managing director of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL),told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
Stating that about 90 per cent of the area used for setting up JSPL’s steel unit in Orissa’s Angul was barren land,he said local people are happy as the project had little impact on agricultural activities.
Asking investors to offer maximum benefit to land owners in their project sites,Jindal said,”in all the four states of Chhattisgarh,Jharkhand,Orissa and Haryana where we have units,the governments have been giving importance to the land owners”.
Regarding obstacles in land acquisition for various projects,the JSPL MD said it is obvious that vested interests are at work.
On FDI in the steel sector,he said,”we welcome FDI in all sectors,including steel. Consumption of steel is very low in India and we should take necessary steps to raise its domestic use by increasing production substantially”.
Steel majors like Posco and Mittal should set up their plants in India as it would lead to healthy competition besides raising steel production and consumption,he said.
To a question about the need for level-playing field in special economic zones (SEZ) in the steel sector,Jindal said SEZ’s have “lost their charm”.
Stating that his company has been taking a series of environment friendly measures,he said,”it is our duty to preserve and safeguard the eco-system”.
On allegation of threat to environment in Angul where JSPL projects are located,Jindal said,”it is easy to raise fingers,but we welcome any form of inquiry”.
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