Idco asks Posco to clear Rs 73 cr dues

Bhubaneswar: Bumpy ride for South Korean steel major Posco’s mega steel project in Jagatsinghpur district is likely to last. Source said Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) has written letters to both the local administration and the company mentioning of taking back the 1703 acres of land, which were acquired for the project.

For the proposed eight-million-tonne project, Posco needs 2700 acres of land. But the State government has so far handed over 1703 acres to the South Korean company while keeping the remaining required 1000 acres with Idco.

Source said Posco is yet to pay Rs 54 crore 22 lakh as premium for the acquired land and Rs 18 crore 79 lakh as net payment value of unreserved forest land to Idco. Though the State-run Idco had sent letters to Posco CMD in January 2014, followed by reminders for payment of the due premium, the steel company has not cleared the payment so far.

On October 31 last year, Posco India CMD Gee Woong Sung visited Odisha and discussed about the project with the State’s Industry secretary.

On the other hand, after the Parliament’s approval to the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, known as MMDR Act, hope for allotment of Khandadhar mines on preferential basis to Posco has been dashed. The amended portions of the MMDR Act ensure allotment of mines is done solely through auctions rather than the prevailing system of preferential allotment.