Orissa's job policy delays renewal of MoU with Posco-India

The tenure of the five-year MoU with the South Korean steel major lapsed on June 21, 2010, sources said adding the proposed project to set up a mega steel plant near Paradip failed to make much headway.

Though the state government was keen to renew the MoU, Posco was not in a mood to accept addition of new clause to its earlier MoU, a senior official said.

The state government which had decided to reserve jobs for local people in all the mega projects, wants it to be incorporated in the fresh MoU with Posco-India, he said.

According to the new job reservation policy, all industries setting up units in the state would allocate at least 90 per cent of jobs in unskilled category for the local people including the families affected by project and upto 60 per cent jobs in semi-skilled category.

Similarly, 30 per cent of the jobs need to go local people (people belonging to the state) in supervisor and managerial cadre. However, the senior executive posts could be filled from open market, the new policy said.

While all other mega projects including Tata Steel, Jindal and others have already accepted state government’s job reservation policy not yet notified till today, Posco-India was reluctant to accept it claiming that job reservation for certain category of people on geographical basis did not confirm to the constitutional provisions of India.

Indian Constitution gives right to its citizens to work anywhere within the country, the steel major told the state government indicating that it was not in favour of accepting the new job reservation policy for the local people.

The state government, which of late had been working overtime to implement the country’s biggest FDI despite opposition from the local people, had been in a quandary over the question raised by Posco-India.

Posco’s reluctance to accept job reservation policy for locals could give a negative message. "A fresh MoU with Posco-India will be through soon," Industries minister Raghunath Mohanty said.

Indicating that the MoU with Posco-India will be renewed soon, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said "this will be done in accordance with the law.

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