Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 20:
The Odisha government will request the Centre to facilitate the Posco mega steel plant near Paradip, the biggest foreign direct investment project in the country.
The decision was taken at a high level meeting held at the state secretariat here today.
The meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and attended by Steel & Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick , chief secretary GC Pati and departmental secretary.
“The chief secretary has been asked to discuss the pOsco issue with the Central government. The Central government will be requested to fix a date for holding of the discussions. Representatives of the Central government, state government and Posco will remain present during the discussions,” Steel & Mines minister Prafulla Mallick told reporters after the high level meeting here today.
“The state government has no information on Posco setting up plants outside Odisha. Posco should first come forward to hold discussions on whether it will set up its plant in Odisha or not. It should first spell out what kind of cooperation it expects from the state government. The state government will do whatever is possible within the scope of the law,” Mallick said.
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and discussed the Posco issue on August 12.
A member of the delegation BJD MP Kalikesh Singhdeo had said after the meeting that Jaitley had assured to look into the matter positively after being apprised of the Posco issue.
It is to be noted that steel giant Posco has recently signed an agreement with Uttam Steel and Power to do a feasibility study to set up a 3 million tonne per annum (MTPA) integrated steel plant in Maharashtra.
The Odisha project of Posco has been stuck in a decade-long regulatory quagmire starting from land acquisition to getting raw material linkage to the proposed plant.
The South Korean company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government on June 22, 2005.