Even as ArcelorMittal chief Laxmi Mittal said India no longer remained a priority for investment due to stiff local opposition against land acquistion,Orissa government today said it was optimistic about establishing the companys proposed 12 mtpa steel plant in Keonjhar district.
Mittal on Sunday told Sunday Times,India remains a priority but not for investment. Im not locating capital to India or China as I dont see things progressing there. We cant remain stuck,so we move on. Now our priority is to reduce debt.
Though there is opposition to land acquisition by local people,we have been undertaking industrialisation in a peaceful manner. ArcelorMittal has given commitment to set up its plant in the state, state steel and mines minister Raghunath Mohanty. Even ArcelorMittals country head has given us a letter in December requesting to renew the MoU that lapsed last year.
ArcelorMittal signed an MoU with Orissa government on December 21,2006 for five years,but the project has hardly taken off due to local opposition to land acquisition. The company proposed to invest Rs 40,000 crore in its proposed mega steel plant in 7753 acres land in Keonjhar. However,the company has not been able to acquire any land so far.