Centre throws Posco ball in State court

Bhubaneswar: Less than a week after prime minister Narendra Modi’s South Korea visit where Posco’s proposed steel plant issue was reportedly given a skip, the Centre today said that Odisha government should clarify about it’s stand on the green field project.

Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it is up to the State government to decide whether they want the plant.

“It is the State government that has to decide whether they want the plant or not,” Sitharaman said on the sidelines of an event organised by the State unit of BJP to mark one year of the Narendra Modi government.

During Modi’s South Korea tour, the joint statement of leaders of the two countries also missed the Posco issue raising eyebrows among many.

Besides, though Modi in his speech assured the CEOs in Seoul a more stable, predictable and transparent taxation system, the steel project in Jagatsinghpur district, billed as the single-largest FDI in India, failed to find a reference in his speech.

The prime minister told 21 CEOs and other business leaders attending the meet that there was tremendous potential for cooperation in areas like water, transportation, railways, sea ports, shipbuilding, electricity including renewable, IT infrastructure and services, electronics, construction industry, all of which are “very promising” sectors in India.

Besides, though Modi met Posco chief on the sidelines of the CEOs Forum, it is still unclear about the matter on which they deliberated upon. An official communication from the company or from the Indian government about the meeting is still awaited.

With two skips in quick succession and now the Centre’s views on the plant, it has now become almost evident that the Posco chapter will go missing from India’s industrialisation horizon.