Minister asks Posco to clarify its stand

Bhubaneswar: A day after Industries minister Devi Mishra asked the Posco authorities to pay dues towards land premium before demanding utilisation certificate, Mines minister Prafulla Mallick yesterday asked the South Korean steel major to clarify its stand on setting up of its 8-million-tonne steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district.

As the Union Mines secretary on Saturday said companies like Posco has to participate in the auction to get mines, Mallik said if the company fails to acquire mines through auction, the State government will ensure what the other plants are getting, i.e. long-term raw material linkage through Odisha Mining Corporation.

He also urged the plant authorities to discuss with the government regarding the issues.
Commenting on the renewal of MoU, the minister said the company has not approached the State government so far while the government is ready to do it.

Notably, the agreement with Posco India has lapsed since June 22, 2010, and it has not been renewed till date. The issue of getting captive mines for Posco got murkier with Parliament’s approval to the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, known as MMDR Act. The State had requested the Centre for allotment of Khandadhar mines on preferential basis to Posco, but the amended Act ensures allotment of mines is done solely through auctions.