Centre to review delays in $12-b Posco project

Keen on paving the way for more foreign direct investments to rev up a slowing economy, India will review delays in the commencement of South Korea’s $12 billion Posco steel project in Orissa that has been hobbled for years by local protests against land acquisition.

 South Korea on Monday raised fresh concerns over the completion of the project, India’s single largest FDI venture, when Minister of Knowledge Economy Sukwoo Hong met Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on the sidelines of Partnership Summit in Agra, an official statement said.  
“We are concerned about the delays and will be conducting a review. The Prime Minister himself is monitoring the issue,” the statement quoted Sharma as saying.

 Posco had signed a MoU on 22 June, 2005 with the Odisha government for setting up an integrated steel plant with the total capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum. But the project had been mired in controversy because of local protests and faulty environment impact assessment report. The fresh blow to Posco came in March this year when a green tribunal suspended the environmental licence for the plant.

The cancellation came on the back of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurance to South Korean businessmen in Seoul in the same month that their investment was safe in India and that the Posco project would continue. Analysts say the clearance of Posco steel project in Orissa will give a major boost to FDI in India.

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