Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 26:
After the failure of the tripartite meeting held in New Delhi yesterday to sort out the future of the Posco steel project in Paradip, the Odisha Government is now banking on another round of talks at the highest level to get the Rs 52,000 crore project going.
“Another meeting will be scheduled to discuss the future of the project soon. This meeting will be chaired withe by the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister. In all likelihood, the Chief Minister himself would be present in the meeting,” said Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick speaking to reporters today.
The tripartite meeting held yesterday was chaired by Prime Minister’s principal secretary Nripendra Misra, Union Mines secretary Balvinder Kumar, Steel secretary Rakesh Singh, Odisha chief secretary G C Pati and POSCO India CMD Gee Woong Sung. While the meeting was unable to come to a conclusion over the future of the project, it agreed on taking the issue to the highest level and convene another meeting.
The meeting might take place in the first week of September. The exact date for the next meeting, however, is yet to be decided.
It may be mentioned that in the meeting held yesterday, the state government, as sources pointed out, had offered POSCO an option of a joint venture with the state-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to keep the company in the state. The company, however, was not too keen on the proposal, sources said. The fate of Vedanta’s joint venture with OMC may have had a bearing on the Posco’s response to the idea mooted by the state government, the sources added.
The company, most likely, would take its final call on the project after the PM/ Finance Minister level meeting.