Odisha to discuss Posco issue with Centre

Bhubaneswar, Aug 3 (IANS) With uncertainty looming over Posco’s proposed $12 billion steel project in Odisha, the state government has decided to take up the matter with the central government to address the issue.

“We will try to resolve the bottlenecks being faced by the project,” Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said on Monday.

He said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked Chief Secretary G.C. Pati to write to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) or the cabinet secretary to discuss issues relating to the Posco project.

The move by the Odisha government came after the South Korean company announced putting the project on hold temporarily.

Even 10 years after signing a memorandum of understanding with the state government, the company failed to start the project, touted to be the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

It has been facing land acquisition hurdles due to stiff resistance from local people, but the biggest shock came from the Centre when it amended the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2015, and asked the company to participate in the bidding process to avail of mines to feed the steel plant proposed to be set up in Jagatsinghpur district.

However, the state government has assured the South Korean company of providing raw material through its state PSU Odisha Mining Corporation.

But the company is yet to make its stand clear on the assurance.

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