State not to make fresh commitment on supply of raw materials

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday decided not to give any fresh assurance on supply of raw materials to steel companies in the revised MoUs to be signed with certain steel makers whose earlier Memorandum of Understanding validity period have already expired, official sources said.

Of the 49 MoUs signed by the state government for setting up steel projects, only two companies have valid MoUs while cases of others including Posco and ArcelorMittal are pending for renewal, sources said.

The steel and mines department on Tuesday issued a guideline on the extension of validity period of MoUs signed for establishment of steel projects in the state.

Stating that grant of further time or extension of validity of MoU may be considered in respect of deserving cases, the new guidelines will consider companies which have fulfilled their part of obligations as per the MoU or have made best efforts towards establishment of the project.

The state-owned Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (IPICOL) would assess the progress of implementation of the projects as per the existing MoU and make appropriate recommendation on the proposal for extension of the validity of MoU or grant of further time for completion of the project, the guideline said.

While making recommendations, the IPICOL will specifically report if the project proponent has fulfilled their obligations as per the MoU, made best efforts towards establishment of the projects, it said.

"The clause relating to recommendation of coal blocks for captive use of industry will be deleted in view of the recent amendments made in the M M (DR) Act, 1957," said steel and mines secretary Rajesh Verma quoting the provision of the guideline.

This apart, the guideline also mentioned that no clause committing grant or recommendation for grant of Mineral Concession will be retained in the new MoU.

"Related clauses of the original MoU may be suitably revised providing that the commitments made in the original MoU will be honoured subject to and as far as consistent with provision of MMDR Act and MC Rules applicable on the date of recommendation," it said.

In case of Mineral Concessions already recommended or granted, the guideline said those will be strictly for captive purpose exclusively and no export or swapping of minerals meant for captive use would be permitted.

In the revised MoUs, a new clause on employment would be mandatory where the companies would provide certain per centage of jobs to the local people. "Another new clause would be included providing that the technology for the projects would be in conformity with the norms prescribed by the government," the guideline said.

Besides, the new clauses may be there in the revised MoUs for setting up industrial training centres, to take up corporate social responsibility activities and to set up steel downstream and ancillary industries.