Posco-India’s SEZ status in trouble, Orissa non-committal on timeline for land handover

Bhubaneswar: The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status of Posco-India’s steel project in Orissa is in trouble. The SEZ development commissioner is unlikely to recommend further extension of in-principle approval for the SEZ as the state government remains non-committal on the land allotment time-line. The Posco-India’s SEZ status, which was accorded on September 28, 2006, expired on October 25, 2012, after six years with two extensions.

The state government has recommended the Centre for extension of the SEZ status of Posco-India. But it has not made any commitment about allotment of land for the project. Posco-India is proposing to develop a multi-product SEZ with its 12 mt integrated steel plant an anchor tenant over an area of 4004.22 acres at Paradip in Orissa’s Jagatsinghpur district.

The company has requested the development commissioner, Falta SEZ, for extension of the SEZ status for another year from October 25,2012. The development commissioner, Falta SEZ, is the nodal agency that would recommend the SEZ cases to Board of Approval (BoA) of the union ministry of commerce. Since the Posco-India proposal to the development commissioner was silent about the timeline of taking possession of land and time line of implementation of the project, the development commissioner had sought the opinion of the state government in this regard. Posco-India had also urged Orissa to recommend its case to the Centre as required under Rule-4 of SEZ Rules 2006.

Though the state government has recommended for the extension of the SEZ status to the project, it has not mentioned about the timeline for allotment of land. The state government has said that the land acquisition process is going on and the required land would be handed over to the company very soon, sources in the state government told FE.

Meanwhile, the environment clearances granted for the Posco India’s steel plant at Paradip and captive port project at Jatadhari on July 19, 2007, and May 15, 2007, has now expired and needs to be revalidated in five years.

Posco-India has requested the union ministry of environment and forest to revalidate the environment clearances for both the projects on May 24, 2012 and April 23, 2012.

[Source — Financial Express]

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