Even after a major setback, the State Government on Thursday said that the decision of the global steel major ArcelorMittal to pull out from the State project will have no impact on the onging industrialisation in the State.
‘’The project was a non-starter and the company was never interested to set up the proposed mega steel project for which it signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Government on December 21, 2011,” Minister of State for Steel and Mines RK Singh said.
The company failed to achieve important milestones in the last seven years and did not take initiative to meet its corporate social responsibility, the Minister said. ArcelorMittal has officially intimated the State Government its decision not to renew the MoU and the chapter between the Government and the company is now closed, Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra told mediapersons. The company’s backout will not affect the ongoing projects or the projects in pipeline, he said.
The Government could not recommend mining lease in favour of ArcelorMittal as the project failed to make desired progress which would have made it eligible to obtain raw material linkage, Mahapatra said.
Asked if the Government will request the company to reconsider its decision, he said, “No, not for the time being. If the company comes with any proposal in future, we will consider.”
Even as the company claimed to have made significant progress and had prepared a feasibility report and completed an environmental impact assessment study for the project, official sources said that the company has not submitted its detailed project report to the Government.
The company has not made any progress during the last three yeas after conducting gram sabhas in eight out of 15 villages required for land acquisition.
During the last three years the company officials could not move to the project site due to stiff opposition from the local people, the sources said.
ArcelorMittal signed an MoU with the State Government in December 2006 to set up a 12-million tonne steel plant in four phases at Patna tehsil in Keonjhar district entailing an investment of USD 12 bn (` 50,000 cr). The MoU had lapsed since December 2011.