BJP blames Odisha govt for Posco’s exit

Bhubaneswar: Blaming Odisha government of anti-development attitude, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today held the Naveen government responsible for the exit of South Korean Steel major Posco from the State.

Briefing newsmen at a press conference in the State on Friday, Union Minister for Steel Birender Singh said the company left Odisha as the government failed to provide land for the multi-million project.

Posco had to withdraw the project due to continuous delay in acquisition of the required land for the establishment of the plant.

The Centre supports foreign direct investment (FDI), said Singh, adding, “BJP came up with a new Land Acquisition Bill but Odisha didn’t take any initiative in introducing the reforms in the land acquisition procedures.”

There are many more reasons under wraps that led to Posco’s exit. We aim to achieve 300 million tonnes steel production capacity in India of which a 20% is expected from Kalinganagar only, added the Union Minister.

Meanwhile, Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik said the government had transferred the required land for the project but Posco left the State as it did not want to participate in the mining auction.

The South Korean steel major scrapped its plan to set up the 12-million tonne (mt) steel plant in Paradip and surrender the allotted land early this year.

Earlier, the company had signed an agreement with Odisha in June 2005 and sought 4,004 acres of land. However, the acquisitions got delayed due to agitation by the locals, which often took a violent turn.

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