BHUBANESWAR:Odisha’s dream of setting up the biggest FDI project in the country has been shattered with Korean steel major Posco deciding to suspend its operations in the State.
The Rs 52,000 crore greenfield steel plant project at Paradip with a 12 million-tonne capacity had been delayed for several years due to local resistance to land acquisition, environmental concerns and other reasons.
The fact that Posco was on its way out was a public knowledge as all communication between the State Government and the company had stopped for the last several months.
According to reports, Posco chairman Kwon Oh-joon announced after an investors’ relations session in Seoul on Wednesday that the company has decided to tentatively stop the project as there was no visible progress.
“The project will remain suspended unless the Indian Government offers a better deal,” he said.
Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, however, said that no official communication has been received from the South Korean company in this regard.
The Minister, however, indirectly blamed the Centre by maintaining that the new MMDR Act, which made provision for open bidding for iron ore mines instead of getting it on the recommendation of the State Government, may have been the reason behind Posco suspending the project.
The Opposition Congress and BJP blamed the Naveen Patnaik Government’s inertia for Posco’s decision to suspend its project already delayed by 10 years.