POSCO war zone – India not an investment destination

PTI reported that despite the Indian environment ministry’s approval in January 2011 for steel project by Korean giant POSCO at Orissa’s Jagatsinghpur district, a year down the line, nothing has moved.

While land acquisition remains the biggest challenge despite paper clearances, there’s an additional problem, with the district administration having Korean employees from visiting the project site.

Mr Vikash Sharan VP of POSCO India said that “We are at a loss to understand the recent order from the district administration, issued in the name of the law and order condition. How can such projects land up in a situation like this?”

He said that there is no point in selling India as an investment destination at Davos when the investments which have already come are facing multiple problems and not able to move forward.

Asked about the developments since last year’s nod, the company spokesperson said that “POSCO India has established its site office in December 2011 near Nuagaon village to improve communication with the local community and also to co ordinate pre construction activities.”

Urging the state government and central government to expedite matters, Mr Sharan said that “Although POSCO has been billed as the biggest FDI in the country, its progress has been very slow and frustrating. We understand that in a federal set up like ours, both central and state governments have their distinct roles. But there is a need for centralized monitoring by an empowered authority to expedite large projects which are essential for growth of our economy.”

However, no substantial construction work has started yet, as the state government is yet to hand over the land required for the plant. Of the 4,004 acres required, 3,586 acres belongs to the state government. Around 578 acres of non forest revenue land has been leased but this is scattered in small pieces.

Mr Sharan said that “Its physical possession will be meaningful only along with handing over of the remaining land. POSCO is waiting for land acquisition to be completed by the state government.”

[Source – Steelguru]

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