BHUBANESWAR: The State Government seems to be on an overdrive to resolve problems faced by big industries in Odisha as the fate of mega steel project proposed by Posco-India at Paradip has become uncertain.
Official sources said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed Industries and Steel and Mines departments to make a list of 20 big projects in the State and resolve problems faced by them. The issue will be discussed at the next monthly meeting of the Chief Minister to review progress of different industrial projects in Odisha.
Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said Posco project may also come up for discussion at the meeting. He, however, maintained that the problem is not with the State Government. “We are ready with land but the company is not responding to our letters,” he said.
The problem is with raw material linkage, the Minister said and added that blame game between the Centre and State Government will be of no benefit. Posco-India wants dedicated mines and the policy of the Centre has changed after the NDA came to power, Mishra said and added that there will be no provision of value addition and captive mines now. “But we are keen that Posco should set up the steel plant in Odisha and had proposed alternative ways to supply raw material, but it is yet to respond,” he said.
The project, promoted as the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) of the country by the Centre and State Government during the UPA regime, did not find any mention during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to South Korea.
The steel project was also not on the agenda of the monthly meeting of the Chief Minister held on Saturday to review progress of big ticket projects in the State. Progress of 11 projects was discussed at the meeting.
Minister of State for Steel and Mines Prafulla Mallick said out of 49 MoUs signed by the State Government for establishment of steel plants, 32 have started operation and 10 are under implementation. Other projects which have not progressed because of land acquisition problem include those by Pradhan Steel and Power Limited and Amtek Metal and Mining Limited in Cuttack district, Atha Mines Limited and Tecton Ispat Limited in Dhenkanal, SSL Energy Limited in Ganjam, Konark Ispat Limited in Jharsuguda and Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited in Angul.
Official sources said the State Government has initiated the process to create a land bank of 50,000 acres for expeditious grounding of projects. Eight locations have been identified in 15 districts for creation of land bank.