The role being played by the government as promoter and facilitator of the proposed POSCO project in Orissa typifies the wide chasm between the constitutional mandate that the State act to guard the rights of its citizens, and the reality of the Indian state behaving as an agent of unfettered global capital. While many of the favors extended to POSCO by the government – whether it be the extraordinarily generous terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), 15 or the low royalty rates for the mined ore, or the use of state police as a private army – have also been extended to other large corporations, examining all these facets in the context of POSCO highlights how the Indian state has transformed itself into an entity whose primary function is to facilitate unregulated extraction and consumption of India’s resources by the global elite.
In this chapter, we examine in some detail the role of all three branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – in initiating, legitimizing and implementing the POSCO project. Specifically, we look at the government’s actions with regard to the laws it is sworn to uphold and the populace it is supposed to represent – from the inception of the project to the current impasse. We explore the role of the government in the POSCO project through a discussion of the seven discrete issues listed below, issues that we think best highlight how different government agencies have used state power in Orissa in favour of mega corporations and against the people whose lands contain the resources that these corporations want.
- The MoU: What are the roles and responsibilities laid out for the Orissa government and for POSCO in the MoU?
- Role of Executive: How have the Chief Minister of the state, the Prime Minister of the country and ministers of the Union Cabinet responded to the concerns of the people as compared to the concerns of the company?
- Forest Rights Act: A case study to examine how the government has violated the law at the project site.
- Role of the Judiciary: How does the judiciary appear to interpret its role in the current conflict between the rights of the people and the wishes of a private corporation?
- Use of Orissa state security apparatus: Should the state police and paramilitary forces be used for securing the safety of the people, or for the safety of company officials and premises? When does democratic dissent become a “law and order issue”?
- Alleged benefits from the project: Do the government’s claims about tax revenues expected from the project pass muster?
- Sale of Mineral Wealth: Under what terms and conditions should the State allow the exploitation of precious public-owned mineral wealth, and whom should the proceeds benefit?
As the chapter explores each of these seven issues below, the subversion of the State’s authority and sovereignty in favor of POSCO’s profits becomes apparent.
2.1 The Memorandum of Understanding: The State as Project Promoter
The MoU executed between the Government of Orissa and POSCO on June 22, 2005, places the state and its people in an abjectly subordinate position to POSCO. The MoU requires the Orissa government to use its power and resources to facilitate POSCO’s operations but makes no demand of POSCO to undertake any concrete step towards the project-affected people, the residents of Orissa, or even the welfare of its own employees.
Reading the MoU, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that instead of fulfilling its duty as upholder and enforcer of state regulations and laws, the Orissa government is eager to play the very questionable role of “facilitator” for POSCO’s project. Whether it is the clearances required from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), from the central government for transfer of lands, or from the Ministry of Mining for acquiring mining leases, the MoU mandates that the state government will provide all possible assistance in obtaining them. A few examples (with emphasis added) from the MoU itself are the best illustrations:
“The Government of Orissa will assist the Company in obtaining all clearances, including forest and environment clearance and approval of the State Pollution Control Board, and the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for opening up the iron ore mines, laying roads, constructing township etc.”
“Govt. of Orissa will make best efforts and provide all possible assistance to POSCO for expeditious clearance of applications relating to mining lease and related matters such as forest, environment etc. so as to enable POSCO to start its mining operations in time to synchronize with the commissioning of its steel plant. “
“The Government of Orissa agrees to facilitate and use its best efforts to enable the Company to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) through the State Pollution Control Board in the minimum possible time for the development and operation of the Project.”
What does it mean for the citizens when the State agrees to essentially become an agent for private corporations on large projects? The constitutionally mandated role of the State is to safeguard the interests and rights of the citizens, and to hold the common resources and minerals in trust for current and future generations. But the State’s obligations are turned on their head when instead of ensuring that implementation of a project meets all statutory requirements, it assumes the role of project promoter and facilitator. For instance, how does one reconcile the conflict of interest inherent in the role of the Orissa government when it commits to expedite environmental clearances for POSCO through the Orissa State Pollution Control Board, while simultaneously being responsible under law to enforce POSCO’s compliance with environmental regulations?
The situation would be bad enough if the Orissa government had agreed to do nothing beyond acting as POSCO’s agent and pushing through clearances by going around state and national laws, but the government of Orissa has also placed the state’s administrative, legal and law enforcement machinery at POSCO’s disposal. Here are more examples of what the MOU says:
“In the event of litigation at any stage, Government of Orissa will diligently defend their recommendations made in favour of the Company in the appropriate judicial, quasi judicial fora.”
“[T]he Government of Orissa shall second (at its own cost) to the Company’s Project office in Bhubaneswar, an Officer of the appropriate level to be dedicated to the facilitation of the Project …. All applications made by the Company for all relevant clearances, permits, approvals, licenses, consents and the like or facilitation for the Project shall be routed through the Nodal Officer. The Nodal Officer shall diligently pursue the granting of all such approvals/clearances within the minimum possible time and update the Company at regular intervals on the status of these applications. [And another officer will also be appointed, who will report to this Nodal officer and who will] assist in obtaining necessary approvals from the Central Government as well as its agencies as quickly as possible.”
The MOU further commits the Orissa government to building multiple roads, highways, and railroad lines for the benefit of POSCO. The government is also committed to providing power and water without any effective limits: “During the operation phase, the Government of Orissa will make best efforts to meet the power requirement of all components of the project including each of its components.”16 Similarly, not only are limits on POSCO’s use of water missing from the MoU, the agreement allows POSCO to set up its own water supply system and draw as much water as it needs – in effect, free water.17 The MOU even commits Orissa to building special police stations just to provide security for POSCO’s facilities!18
The above begs the question as to why a state government would appoint special officers, build infrastructure, and provide dedicated security, among other things, all at the people’s expense, solely for a single private company, however big.
2.2 Role of the Executive: Prime Minister, Chief Minister and Ministers — Serving POSCO Instead of People
While the MoU itself is only a statement of intention, it is during the implementation of the MoU requirements that the perversion of the State’s role comes to the foreground as the entire machinery of government, starting from the Offices of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, reaffirms its commitment to this blatant giveaway of India’s wealth, even as people on the ground steadfastly oppose it.
This preference for POSCO over people was on display in January 2010, when the South Korean President, Lee Myung-Bak, was the invited State Guest of Honor for India’s 60th Republic Day celebrations. Concerned over the lack of progress on the plant in the face of stiff resistance by local people, and worried that it would show the host country in a poor light in front of the state guest, the government went into overdrive trying to launch the POSCO project just ahead of the visit.19 Instead of paying heed to local concerns and working with the concerned populations to find an acceptable resolution, newspapers reported that “[t]he Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the external affairs ministry and the steel ministry have thrown their might behind the project …” and that “[g]overnment channels are working overtime to clear hurdles faced by the steel giant and consultations are on with the Orissa government to expedite the process.”20
When it was clear that the project could not be launched in time for President Lee’s visit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) held a news conference, where MEA Joint Secretary (East), Mr. Gautam Bimbawale, and a MEA spokesperson, Vishnu Prakash, both reiterated that the state and central governments were trying their best to “pave the way for the initiation of the project.”21 The fact that environmental clearance had been accorded to the project by the Ministry of Environment and Forests was proffered as evidence of the central government’s intention to “clear all hurdles” for the POSCO project. Union Steel Minister, Virbhadra Singh, who met with the POSCO delegation accompanying President Lee, told reporters that “[e]fforts are being made to ensure that the entire matter is seen [sic], signed and delivered in the next 4-5 months. This includes physical transfer of land and all regulatory clearances to POSCO.” 22
Because the government did not consider conditions in Orissa to be ‘suitable’ for President Lee to visit the POSCO site, the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik came to New Delhi to meet and reassure him of progress on the POSCO project. Newspapers reported Mr. Patnaik as saying that he had “assured the South Korean President that Posco project work will be expedited,” and that the state government would speed up land acquisition for the project.23
It is remarkable to see such concerted efforts by the PM’s office, the CM’s office and various ministries, including external affairs, environment and forests, and steel, to allay South Korean concerns about the progress of the project. Several questions come to mind: By what authority could the various ministers give reassurances about project implementation, when statutory requirements had not yet been met? Why is it that different central and state officials felt compelled to make promises and issue reassurances to POSCO officials, even as the concerns over livelihood of local residents and their expressed opposition to this project were relegated to the status of an irritating detail to be contended with? How could these officials speak so confidently about expediting the POSCO project when important procedural steps had not been taken for activities such as allocation of mines and land acquisition?
Why is the state so completely identifying itself with the objectives of POSCO, a private corporation?
2.3 Forest Rights Act in Tatters – A Case Study in State-Facilitated ‘Development’
The POSCO project consists of three main parts – a steel plant in Jagatsinghpur, a captive port at Paradeep, and mining operations in Keonjhar and Sundergerh districts. Since a project of such scale will have significant environmental and livelihood impacts in its vicinity, the minimum one expects is for the State to engage with all stakeholders and assess the impacts carefully before approving the project. However, true to the intent expressed in its MoU with POSCO, the Orissa government has sought to brush aside all environmental and livelihood concerns, and act in stark violation of existing safeguards. Environmental violations by the state and central governments are discussed in detail in Chapter 4, so we restrict the discussion in this chapter to the refusal of the Orissa government, aided and abetted by the MoEF, to abide by the Forest Rights Act.
Forests cover about 23% of India’s land mass and directly impact the livelihoods of about 200 million people living in or near them.24 However, a succession of British colonial laws and post-independence Indian laws designated forests as state property without recognizing the livelihood rights of forest dwellers, thereby reducing them to the status of encroachers vulnerable to the whims of forest department officials. The Forest Rights Act,25 which came into force on December 31, 2007,26 was the culmination of a long struggle waged by Adivasis and other forest dwellers and acknowledges the “historical injustice” that colonial and independent India’s forest laws have done to them. The Act seeks to “address the long standing insecurity of tenurial and access rights” of these people and acknowledges the rights of all “forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes” (Section 2(c)) as well as “other traditional forest dwellers” (OTFDs) who have for at least seventy-five years prior to December 13, 2005, “primarily resided in” and “depend on the forests or forest land for bona fide livelihood needs” (Section 2(o)).
Application of the FRA is mandatory for the POSCO project because 3,096 of the 4004 acres of land sanctioned for the steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district is officially classified as forest land. Cultivation on this land has been the primary source of livelihood of local forest dwellers, most of whom have lived here for several generations. Forests also provide the local people with a wide range of produce for household consumption. Section 4(5) of the FRA mandates that “no member of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dweller shall be evicted or removed from forest land under his occupation till the recognition (of rights) and verification procedure is complete,” and Section 5 of the Act empowers gram sabhas27 to protect the forests and to “regulate access to community forest resources.”
Within three months after the notification of the FRA, the gram sabha of Dhinkia, acting under the provisions of Section 6(1) of the FRA, passed a resolution inviting claims for individual and community property rights.28 Section 6(3) of the FRA requires the state government to constitute a sub-divisional level committee to examine gram sabha resolutions and enable a final decision. But the sub-divisional officer, presumably under orders from the state government, refused to accept the claims filed by the Dhinkia gram sabha.
The MoEF initially followed the law and issued a circular in August 2009 to the effect that diversion of forest land for the POSCO project would have to wait until after the rights of the forest dwellers had been recognized, and would then still require approval by the relevant gram sabhas. However, in December 2009, the MoEF granted a conditional final clearance even though the requirements of the law had not been met. The MoEF’s about face appears to have been prompted by the (then) upcoming visit of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak in January 2010 and a consequent need to “send the right message to investors” as well as to avoid “a diplomatic embarrassment.”29 Since the environmental and Forest Conservation Act clearances had already been secured by government fiat, a final clearance by the MoEF not only cleared the project for POSCO, but for all practical purposes green-lighted state repression of local residents opposing the project.
Having ignored the Dhinkia gram sabha resolution and then having refused to accept FRA claims in March 2008, the Orissa state government now invited the opinion of the Dhinkia, Gada Kujanga and Nuagaon gram panchayats,30 presumably to nominally comply with FRA requirements. Within a month, Nuagaon, Dhinkia and Gada Kujanga gram sabhas31 passed fresh resolutions re-asserting their rights under FRA and rejecting the proposed diversion of forest land for the POSCO project. But the district administration ignored the gram sabhas and went ahead and certified that the FRA process had been completed and that there were no “other traditional forest dwellers” in the area! The state government officially submitted this false information to the MoEF and launched a fresh round of violent attacks on the villagers who had dared to assert their legal rights. Such blatant violation of due process provoked strong protests, including a detailed letter by CPI leader D. Raja,32 eventually resulting in a three-member MoEF/MoTA33 committee visiting the region to probe the (non)implementation of FRA. After perusal of relevant land records and extensive discussions with senior state officials and villagers, the committee found that:34
“1. There are Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) in the area, contrary to what the district administration is saying. Both documentary and oral evidence exists to this effect.
“2. The FRA process has not been completed, in fact it has not proceeded beyond the initial stages, for various reasons. It is therefore incorrect and misleading for the district administration to conclude that there are no OTFDs “in cultivating possession of the land since 3 generations” in the area. Firstly, this cannot be concluded without having gone through the process of claims; secondly, the FRA provides for dependence on forest land as a criterion for eligibility as well, not just “cultivation possession of land”.
“3. Some palli sabhas [gram sabhas] have given resolutions refusing to consent to diversion of forest land on which they are dependent. These palli sabhas were convened by the district administration itself … which indicates that the administration was aware of the possible presence of forest rights claimants in the area. (It is interesting that this was done after the District Collector had given the opinion that there are no STs and OTFDs in the project area). To the best of our knowledge these palli sabha resolutions have not been sent by the state government to the MoEF, which is tantamount to deliberate withholding of relevant information/documents. Only the palli sabha resolutions setting up [Forest Rights Committees] in March 2008 have been sent to MoEF (which MoEF has asked the state government to translate, in April 2010).”
The committee also noted another instance of the state government’s conflicting stance on gram sabhas. Previously, gram sabha consent had been sought and obtained for a patch of forest land close to the land proposed to be diverted for the POSCO project! The Orissa government seems to have adopted a dual track of getting consent where possible and using deception and force where no consent is forthcoming. The committee observed that the state government’s actions as well as the MoEF’s “final clearance” in December 2009 were both in violation of FRA and urged the MoEF to withdraw its clearance: “Not doing the above would [be] tantamount to not only ignoring the key objective of the FRA of redressing historical injustice, but also heaping new injustice on the residents of these villages.”
Having been exposed by the committee, the state government went on the offensive. Even as the committee shared its conclusions with the district administration, the latter went ahead with illegal land acquisition and destruction of betel vines.35 The state government has also claimed that there are no OTFDs in the region and sought to invalidate land records produced by the villagers on the grounds that “the records that are being produced now for the lands that have not been settled in their favour lack credibility for had they had such records, they would have got their rights settled then. These records must have been subsequent creations. Some such documents produced before the Revenue Divisional Commissioner on June 1, 2010, were found to have been forged.”36 It should come as no surprise that the government’s assertion runs counter to the stated intent of FRA: “An Act to recognize and vest the forest rights of … [those] who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.” (emphasis added.)
Meanwhile, in response to the MoEF/MoTA committee recommendations, the MoEF ordered the Orissa government to cease land acquisition.37 However, rather than withdraw the “final clearance” it had given POSCO in December 2009—a clearance demonstrably based on faulty environmental impact studies and coming out of a process with multiple violations of the required public hearing process,- the MoEF appointed another committee to investigate the POSCO project’s compliance with FRA, Forest Conservation Act, Environmental Protection Act and Coastal Zone Regulatory Norms. This committee, led by Ms. Meena Gupta, gave a divided opinion, with three of the four members recommending revocation of all environmental clearances. The lone dissenter is the Chairperson, Meena Gupta herself, who, it should be noted is the same person who was the MoEF Secretary38 when the POSCO steel plant was originally given environmental clearance.
2.4 The Not-so Honorable Verdict on Forest Conservation
While the central and state governments have made no secret of their commitment to the POSCO project, the August 2008 judgment by the Supreme Court sanctioning diversion of forest land for the steel plant came as a surprise to many.
As mentioned earlier, the POSCO steel plant requires diversion of 3,096 acres of forest land for non-forest use and hence comes under the purview of the Forest Conservation Act.39 As mandated by the Supreme Court, the forest land diversion issue was examined by a Central Empowered Committee (CEC). The CEC considered the POSCO project in its totality and laid down a clear procedure:40 a site visit by an independent committee which would assess the impact of deforestation, followed by suggestion of mitigation measures, followed by adherence to these measures after which the forest land could be diverted. However, in August 2008, the environmental bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, ignored the CEC recommendations and cleared the project “subject to the decision of the MoEF.”41 Instead of basing its judgment on what the CEC had actually said, the Supreme Court simply concluded that “[t]he C.E.C. has examined the project and has recommended for diversion of 1253.225 ha. (3,096 acres) of forest land.” Not only did the court turn the process upside down by sanctioning diversion of forest land before working out mitigation measures, it gave only perfunctory attention to the development and implementation of mitigation measures. There was no mention of a timeline, leave alone an acknowledgment of the dependence of the local population on forests. Such a lackadaisical attitude towards issues that threaten to destroy the livelihoods of some of the poorest people in India stands in stark contrast to the Court’s attention to and sense of urgency regarding starting profits flowing to POSCO, as when it ordered the Orissa government to decide on some pending mining operations within four weeks. While the Court’s decision was not binding, and was subject to further approval by the MoEF, it was a painful reminder that the judiciary is not immune to the elite consensus in favor of mega corporations that pervades the higher levels of the legislature and executive.
2.5 State Security Apparatus Acting as Enforcers for POSCO
Ever since the Orissa government inked the MoU with POSCO in June 2005, residents of the 11 affected villages and hamlets where the steel plant is to be located have strenuously opposed the plan. By July 2005, the three gram panchayats which cover this area, Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gada Kujanga, had already come together to voice their opposition to the plan.
The 4004 acres of land earmarked for the steel plant includes fertile agricultural land on which paddy, betel nut, cashew and other crops are grown, and coastal riverine zones where extensive prawn and fish farming is done. In addition, some of the forest areas that the villagers depend on for forest produce are also slated to be clear cut and the land handed over to POSCO. Not all residents in these villages have formal title to the lands they till, but almost all have been practicing agriculture in these areas for generations. Furthermore, in addition to people who work directly on the land or on the betel vines, many others earn their livelihood from trading, packaging and transporting the produce. The economy of these villages is sustained in large part by betel vine cultivation that is specific to this area, and this economy is a fairly prosperous and inclusive one, providing employment to everyone, men as well as women, the young and the old alike.
Villagers from the three affected panchayats, apprehensive of losing their livelihoods and their entire way of life, have opposed the setting up of the plant in their villages from the very beginning. Residents are actively working in several organizations to oppose the POSCO plant. Of these groups, the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) is by far the largest. Other groups opposing the POSCO project include Nav Nirman Samiti, Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan and Bhita Mati Surakhya Janmanch.
The local law enforcement and administrative machinery has not supported the residents, as it should have, or even remained neutral, but is openly working as a partisan for POSCO. A standard tactic of these arms of the state has been to treat every attempt by the villagers to preserve their lands and livelihood as a “law and order” problem. Where the government should have consulted with the villagers at every stage and acted with respect for their concerns, it has instead taken an adversarial stance, deploying police forces, intimidating villagers, arresting leaders, and suppressing dissent by violence.
2.5.1 Creation of a “Law and Order” Situation: Public Hearing in Police Presence
In November 2005, soon after the project was announced, the administration sent out notices for acquisition of land to the affected villages. As per the villagers, they were also visited by “henchmen of POSCO who have been paid to support the company.”42 These “henchmen” harassed villagers, spread misinformation, and generally vitiated the atmosphere of the villages. To protect their villages from these company henchmen and other coercive tactics of the state, the villagers erected barricades around their villages, allowing entry into the villages to everyone except government officials and POSCO employees and agents.
In the midst of such an atmosphere of distrust, with the villagers blockading themselves against intrusion by the state, the government announced the holding of a mandatory Environmental Clearance Public Hearing for the project on April 15, 2007. A deliberate atmosphere of fear was created by the deployment of 12 platoons of police in the area a week before the hearing.43 While the police did not unleash overt violence on this occasion, their heavy presence was enough to scare many people opposed to the project from attending the public hearing.44 Additionally, the police and pro-POSCO forces filed a whole slew of criminal cases against the residents, further reducing their mobility out of the barricaded area due to fear of arrest.45 Finally, the public hearing was held some 25 kms from the project area, effectively making it impossible for most villagers to attend the meeting. Nonetheless, a number of affected villagers still managed to participate, and the hearing saw a spirited and vocal opposition to the project. Yet, inexplicably, the project was still granted environmental clearance.
A team of academicians, journalists, human rights activists and representatives of various peoples’ movements, who visited the area in October 2007, described “[s]everal battalions of Orissa Military Police … deployed at Kujanga, the Tehsil headquarters. Many rounds of flag-marches have already been staged to intimidate people’s dissent.” Their report also highlighted the presence of paid henchmen in the area and the slew of cases filed against the activists of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti and Nav Nirman Samiti.46
2.5.2 Police Siege of Dhinkia
To protest the unfair award of environmental clearance, the villagers erected a tent and started a round-the-clock protest at Balitutha, which was manned by at least 500 people at any time. However, this only intensified the violence against them. On November 29, 2007, between 500 and a thousand people stormed the protest site, hurled country-made bombs at the protesting villagers and burned down the tent. Reports indicate that this ‘pro-POSCO’ mob was hired and transported to the site with support from POSCO, and that their violent actions injured dozens of residents opposing the POSCO project.47 The administration remained a mute spectator to this mob attack, and the police only managed to reach the site an hour after the tent had been demolished by the mob. Instead of attempting to arrest or even restrain the perpetrators, the police immediately set up a camp at what had been the protest site and also erected barricades around the villages, effectively imprisoning the villagers.48
Over the next several months, 16 platoons of Orissa police remained stationed in the area, occupying school buildings and other public places. Dr. BD Sharma, Ex-commissioner for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, visited the area in December 2007 and confirmed that the village of Dhinkia was under a virtual siege imposed by an unholy nexus of “police and touts.” Dr. Sharma also reports attacks on the houses of villagers opposed to POSCO, as well as the violent disruption of a peaceful Satyagraha undertaken by Nav Nirman Samiti and Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan, who were finally driven out of the area by the violent outsiders.49
A similar report appeared in The Hindu in June 2008:
“Dhinkia and Paatana are under siege now, surrounded by the state police and goons employed to harass those who oppose the project. Essential supplies like kerosene and movement of people have been stopped. … Two villagers sympathetic to the struggle have been suspended from their government jobs. The presence of the police ensures that no one from the village moves out to unite with those who could not hold out against the administration in the neighbouring villages.”50
However, the Orissa government maintained that this violence was a “breakthrough” for the project, and Priyabrata Patnaik, the government appointed nodal officer for the POSCO project, told reporters that, “Now [after violence on November 29] the anti-POSCO people will not dare to raise their voice.”51
2.5.3 The Murder of Dula Mandal
Violent clashes between goons apparently hired by POSCO and the village residents opposing POSCO continued for several months, culminating in the death of a PPSS activist on June 20, 2008, when a group of villagers belonging to the PPSS, returning from dredging the mouth of the River Jatadhar, were attacked by armed goons who hurled bombs at them. The attack resulted in the death of a villager named Dula Mandal and serious injury to several others.52 Angry villagers chased the attackers who ran and hid in a school building where the pro-POSCO goons had earlier held a meeting. When PPSS entered the school premises later, they discovered a huge cache of arms including six crates of country-made bombs and 75 swords.53 This discovery appears to indicate that the attack on PPSS was a pre-meditated one, timed to take advantage of the opportunity when most PPSS activists would be away from the village for dredging the river. The obvious question here is: What role did the local police and administration play in the transport of such a large consignment of arms to the area? As one activist says,
“Many questions arise … If the pro-POSCO faction are simply locals who endorse the project then why haven’t they simply stopped at giving up their land and accepting the compensation offered? Why are they waging an armed battle against PPSS? Who is providing them with such arms and ammunition? And is it really true that all of them are local supporters of the project and not seasoned criminals who know how to use bombs and swords? Why [have] the police not made any attempt to contain the pro-POSCO faction’s violence? There are 70 cases against Abhay Sahu but was anyone arrested for the attack on 29 Nov at Balitutha? … Who is sponsoring the criminals then [if not the POSCO management]? What is the role of local politicians and contractors who will get plum jobs if the project happens?”54
2.5.4 The Arrest of Abhay Sahu, Dr. Biswajit Ray and Others
In 2008, state repression of the democratic movement opposed to POSCO continued with arrests of anti-POSCO movement leaders. First, Abhay Sahu, leader of PPSS, was arrested on October 12, 2008, when he was returning from a visit to a medical doctor. He was kept in detention for over ten months, charged with 32 cases including murder and kidnapping, and kept in the most humiliating positions, including being handcuffed to the hospital bed during the administration of saline, and was not allowed to meet with his family members.55 Several other leaders of PPSS were also arrested under similar charges and kept in detention, including Prakash Jena, a prominent leader from Gobindpur who went on to win the panchayat elections despite being behind bars for seven months.56 Dr. Biswajit Ray, leader of the Nav Nirman Samiti, was also arrested by the police in July 2009.57
PPSS says that as of mid-May, 2010, the police have filed 152 cases against PPSS activists, over 642 people have outstanding warrants against them, and over 40 activists have been imprisoned.58 The large number of outstanding warrants essentially means that the police can pick up any activist at will. Curiously, the state police and prosecutors have not yet managed to produce any credible evidence against any of the people they have charged or arrested. As such, it seems a reasonable conclusion that the actions of the police are designed to force people into giving up their rights by burying them under legal costs, as well as to kill the resistance movement by instilling the fear of arrest and torture into activists, forcing them to stay confined to their barricaded villages.
2.5.5 Police Firing at Balitutha in May 2010
Even as the Indian government invited the President of South Korea to be the Chief Guest at the nation’s Republic Day celebrations, and issued public statements to reassure him of India’s full commitment to the POSCO steel plant, villagers in Jagatsinghpur decided to launch an indefinite sit-in at Balitutha until the project plan was called off. In February, the gram sabhas of Nuagaon, Dhinkia and Gada Kujanga passed resolutions opposing the POSCO plant in their villages.
Instead of negotiating with the affected residents, the Orissa government’s response was to send in 40 platoons of police to the area, who proceeded to conduct a flag-march just outside the protest site on May 14. PPSS, apprehending police violence, made appeals for support to the outside world.
On May 15, CPI MP, Bibhu Prasad Tarai, Congress ex-MLA, Umesh Swain, and Congress leader, Jayant Biswal, were all arrested as they were on their way to Balitutha to lend their support to the movement. On the same day, as almost 4,000 villagers collected at the protest site in a show of defiance against the police presence, the police attacked the villagers by firing rubber bullets and tear gas shells at them. This was done in full view of the district collector and the superintendent of police.59 When the villagers refused to retreat, the police attacked them with batons, injuring over 100 villagers, five of them seriously.60 Women protestors were manhandled by male police. The police did not stop at plastic and rubber bullets, but also used shotguns to fire metal pellets directly into the crowds.61
In the melee that ensued, the police first burned down the tents at the protest site, and then went on a rampage and burned shops and houses belonging to people in Balitutha who were not even at the protest. A fact finding team reports that at least 15 shops and 6 houses in Balitutha were burned by the police.62 The report also notes that, “[a] number of villagers testified that the police set on fire the protest site and the shops and houses but ironically police has filed cases against anti-POSCO movement leader Abhay Sahu and others for arson and looting. Similarly, police has filed false cases against about 800 people who were protesting against the project in a democratic and peaceful manner.”
With police manning all entry and exit gates of the village and threatening to arrest anyone who ventured out of the houses, medical help was also denied to the injured villagers who had to make do with home remedies.63 An activist who visited the villages shortly afterwards reports:
“And because since 15th May, all the exit points from the villages, through Balitutha and Trilochanpur have been sealed by the police, and with the threat of arrest looming large on anyone from the villages who step out, nearly no one has received medical treatment for their wounds. With festering wounds and fractured limbs, many people, including the elderly, are suffering their ordeal silently in the confines of their homes.”64
The police attack on May 15 against a peaceful demonstration, the inhumane beating of villagers, the attempted murder by firing metal pellets, and the subsequent criminalization of protestors by arresting and charging them with crimes, shows how far the Orissa government is willing to go to clear the way for a giant private company.
2.6 SEZ Approval: Exaggerating Benefits, Hiding Lost Revenues
The Orissa government recommended the POSCO steel plant and port for a “Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) status to the central government, as it had promised to do in the MoU, and the central government gave it the in-principle approval in October 2006,65 pending land acquisition to give it the final approval. The in-principle approval was extended twice in 2007 and 2008, since POSCO failed to acquire land. In 2009, as there was no process in place for giving it a third extension, POSCO had to submit a de novo (fresh) application for SEZ status, which has also been approved.66
“Special Economic Zone” is a specifically delineated duty free enclave, which is deemed to be foreign territory for the purposes of trade operations and duties and tariffs.67 The SEZ Act, 2005, allows setting up of these zones within the territory of India in an effort to attract foreign investment in India which would generate additional economic activity, boost exports, increase investment, create employment opportunities and develop infrastructure facilities, while maintaining the sovereignty and integrity of India. In order to attract investment for SEZ, the government offers many fiscal incentives to the investors including exemption from a wide variety of taxes and levies, both local and central.68
In the following chapters, we discuss how the government claims of the POSCO project’s impact on economic activity and employment generation are hugely exaggerated. Here, we restrict ourselves to the government’s claims about tax revenues that the POSCO project would generate, even with the SEZ status.
When the MoU was initially signed in 2005, the Orissa government forecast that the project would bring Rs. 89,000 crores in tax revenues to the central government, and Rs 22,500 crores in taxes to the Orissa government over a period of 30 years.69 Even though the MoU obliged the government to seek an SEZ status for the project, these tax projections did not take the SEZ status into account and include levies such as sales tax, excise tax, service tax and local taxes, from which SEZ developers and units are normally exempt. This contradiction was pointed out by financial analysts within weeks following the execution of the MoU.70 However, the government did not offer any revised tax projections for the next year and a half.
New figures for projected tax revenues were offered by the state government only after the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) completed its study on the POSCO project in January 2007. Blindly quoting the new figures from this study,71 the government has offered no explanation as to why these figures project a whopping increase in tax revenues from the project, after the SEZ status has been taken into consideration, over the government’s own calculations of 2005 when tax exemptions due to SEZ had not been factored in. According to NCAER, the POSCO project would contribute Rs 174,970 crores as total tax revenue over a period of 35 years (of which the Government of Orissa would be entitled to Rs. 77,870 crores).72
The NCAER report itself relies on a study conducted by a private firm, Das & Associates, to come up with the projected tax revenues for the POSCO project.73 While the report offers no explanation as to how these figures are arrived at, and what assumptions have been considered, glaring inconsistencies and sloppiness in these numbers are evident even to a casual observer. For instance:
- Corporate Tax: The NCAER report claims that if the project is accorded SEZ status, the corporate tax is calculated at 33.6% of the profits accrued from domestic sales only, whereas if the entire project is in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA), the corporate tax will be calculated at 33.6% of the entire profits of the company, from exports as well as domestic sales.74 The report further clarifies that calculations assume that 53-67% of total sales are export sales,75 thereby setting the expectation that corporate tax in the SEZ case (calculated on export sales only) will be substantially lower than in the DTA case (calculated on all sales). However, the actual figures for corporate tax calculations in the NCAER report show that the projected corporate tax is actually higher in the case where the POSCO project is accorded SEZ status, than when the entire project is situated in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA).76 So, unless NCAER is claiming that the project will result in zero exports, and even domestic sales will be lower if the project is not situated in a SEZ, these figures are nonsense. But NCAER has gone ahead and used these figures to calculate the total tax due from the project. Considering that corporate tax accounts for 40% of the total tax in the SEZ case, an overestimation of this number is likely to cause a significant distortion in the entire calculation.
Corporate tax calculations for two scenarios showing inconsistencies in NCAER calculations
- Other inconsistencies: Errors abound in the NCAER report. For instance, the report claims that indirect taxes on domestic sales should be only 5% higher for the SEZ case than the DTA case due to additional customs duties, but while calculating the indirect taxes, it takes the rate to be 6% higher for the SEZ case than the DTA case. Besides, the differences in Excise Duty and the Minimum Alternate Tax between DTA and SEZ cases have apparently not been taken into account.77
All these errors contribute to an exaggerated tax forecast for the case where SEZ status is granted to the project, and an underestimation of the tax revenue if the entire project is in the Domestic Tariff Area; hence underplaying the loss of tax revenues to the government due to the SEZ status of POSCO.
In spite of these obvious errors, the Orissa government has been using these inflated tax projections to advocate the POSCO project. For instance, when it recommended to the central government that POSCO be awarded the prospecting license for the Khandadhar mines, it used these tax projections to justify the “special reasons” for superseding more than 200 prior applicants for these mines:
“Elaborating on the `special reasons’, it [the Orissa Government] said Posco would invest $12 billion in the project, the largest foreign direct investment in the country. Quoting a National Council for Applied Economic Research report, it stated the central and the state governments are likely to get tax revenue of Rs 92,100 crore and Rs 77,870 crore, respectively, over a period of 35 years.”78
Even more recently, as late as June 2010, the Orissa government used the flawed NCAER study to reject the demand from opposition parties to scrap the POSCO project, and to justify its SEZ status.
“Asked if SEZ status to the project could eat into the state’s expected revenue generation, he [Raghunath Mohanty, Orissa’s steel and mines minister] said that Posco would contribute Rs 77,870 crore (Rs 778.70 billion) to the state in 35 years from the date of commissioning.”79
Why has the government completely abandoned its earlier tax calculations without any explanation, and why is it repeatedly using the NCAER numbers to advocate the POSCO project, without checking their reliability? It is important to note that POSCO is one of the sponsors of NCAER, 80 which puts the claim of “independence” of this study in doubt. Neither the NCAER nor the government of Orissa have revealed the underlying assumptions that have gone into generating these tax forecasts, and the obvious internal inconsistencies of these numbers make them completely unreliable for decision-making.
2.7 The Profits of Plunder: Why the Government Goes Out on a Limb to Allocate Captive Mines to POSCO
Mining in India is an exceedingly profitable venture. The state sells leases on the cheap, and royalties owed by the mining industry are set low despite global mineral prices being very high.81 The MoU between POSCO and the Orissa government requires the latter to grant prospecting licenses and mining leases for the next 30 years for POSCO to extract a total of 600 million tons of iron ore for use in its proposed steel plant in the area, and further obliges it to assist POSCO in acquiring another 400 million tons of iron ore for its steel plants in South Korea. In this section, we examine the lucrative nature of mining in India, and find that the profits made from mining alone may explain the uncommon tolerance with which POSCO is awaiting the clearance for their plant in Orissa. Indeed, POSCO seems to consider having unfettered access to iron ore so critical that it is willing to scrap the entire project unless it is granted captive iron ore mines.82
To understand what makes these mines of such critical importance to POSCO, one has to understand the economics of iron ore mining in India. As a lawsuit filed in Karnataka by Mr. Arun Agrawal, a public spirited petitioner points out,83
“[t]he State is in the process of gifting natural resources worth billions of dollars under the old and discredited excuse of attracting foreign capital and not making any effort to obtain reasonable and market related value for the iron ore. The amount of investment brought in by these so called investors is a fraction of the value of the mines and minerals being handed to them at a token royalty of 10%. The investment that they are making to exploit the mineral wealth is for their personal profits. The earlier economics of allotting captive iron ore mines to private steel producers is no more valid as the price of iron ore has shot up from Rs. 300 per tonne to over Rs. 5000 per tonne in [three to four years]. The State is duty bound to negotiate terms that maximizes the benefit of the natural mineral resources for the benefit of the people of the State.”
The critical thing to note in the above is the price of iron ore which skyrocketed from Rs. 300 per ton in 2002-2003 to between Rs. 5000-7000 in 2005-2006 – a nearly twenty-fold increase. BHP Billiton, one of the largest mining conglomerates in the world, estimates that the price will reach Rs. 10,000 per ton in 2011 due to global shortage and demand. Multiple studies have shown, and as Mr. Agrawal demonstrates in his legal complaint, the benefit of higher price in the past has gone to the private profiteers and not to the people of the state whose resources were extracted by the private company.
For the case of POSCO in Orissa, it is best to look at some specific numbers to understand the amount of profits involved. Let us assume that POSCO’s costs for extraction, processing and transport for the iron ore would be double those in Karnataka,84 that it will pay an ad valorem royalty (royalty based on value), currently fixed at an absurdly low rate of 10% of the pre-shipping price, and that the market price it gets will be the historically low price of Rs. 4,500 per ton85 and not the Rs. 7,250 per ton86 projected by UNCTAD or the BHT Billiton estimate of Rs. 10,000 for 2011. Based on this, POSCO stands to make a profit of Rs. 3,330 per ton.87 For 20 million tons per annum that comes to profits of just over Rs. 6,500 crores per year (about 1.5 billion USD).
So, as one can see from the calculations above, POSCO will recoup the entire USD 12 billion ‘investment’ that it is projected to make over the next 30 years within the first 8 years of operation. After that, even if it has to pay taxes, everything it makes will be pure profit, which can be conservatively estimated (based on the discussion above) to be at least Rs. 6,500 crore per year, and is likely to be much higher, year after year for the next 20-plus years, and potentially for the next 40-plus years if POSCO exercises its option to extend the project for another 20 years. And all this from the mining operations alone.
Even this is not the entire story — in POSCO’s case the giveaway is even more egregious because not only is the state dedicating 600 million tons of iron ore for POSCO’s exclusive use for 30 years at the steel plant it plans to build in Jagatsinghpur district, but the agreement in the MoU also allows POSCO to extract and export 400 million tons for use at its steel plants in South Korea. That much ore will produce enough steel to build an entire city larger than Delhi and Bombay put together, or replace Indian Railways’ entire rolling stock – about a quarter million railroad cars and 8,000 engines – more than 25 times over.
In this scenario, where the allocation of a captive mine is an unrivalled bonanza for the company, the Orissa government is jumping through hoops to ensure that POSCO gets access to the Khandadhar mines, which have some of the best quality iron ore in India and are much sought after by both Indian and foreign mining firms. In December 2006, the state government recommended to the central government that POSCO be allocated prospecting license for 6204.352 hectares of Khandadhar mines – even though 225 other applicants had put in applications for these mines, many of them before POSCO had even appeared on the scene. Amongst these was the public sector corporation, Kudremukh Iron Ore Corporation (KIOCL), which had done prospecting of the mines.
Claiming that it had first right over the mines, and that POSCO had been given an unfair advantage by the government, KIOCL mounted a legal challenge. The Centre directed the state government to make a recommendation for the mines only after reviewing the submittals of all 226 applicants. However, in January 2009, the state government again recommended that the leases for these mines be granted to POSCO India, while reducing the grant area to 3000 hectares to exclude the mines claimed by KIOCL. This time, Geomin India, one of the other applicants, challenged this recommendation in the Orissa High Court, and on July 14, 2010, the High Court set aside the state government’s recommendation to hand over the Khandadhar iron mines to POSCO.88 However, instead of abiding by the Court’s decision, the Orissa government has announced that it will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.89
It is also important to note that it is not just the Orissa government that appears to be in uncommon haste to allocate precious iron ore mines to POSCO over hundreds of other applicants, including public sector companies, and do this in defiance of the ruling of the state’s highest court. Even the Union Ministry of Steel strongly supports the hand over of the subject mines to POSCO, as evidenced by the interview given earlier this year by the Minister of Steel, Virbhadra Singh, where he told newspersons that “the government would request the High Court to dispose of the case expeditiously,” adding that “the litigant PSU (KIOCL) would also be persuaded to withdraw the case.”90
One has to question whose benefit the government is thinking of when it is not only ready to jump into litigation on the side of a foreign corporation over domestic claimants, but makes pronouncements that it will ‘persuade’ a public sector corporation to withdraw its claims in favor of the foreign company.
For all the government’s protestations that the project will “bring prosperity and wellbeing to its people,”91 the people affected by the project evidently disagree. Could it be that the state is indeed acting in their best interests, and that the POSCO project could change their lives for the better? Is the opposition to the project driven by the peoples’ irrational fear of change, or is it based on a rational analysis of their current livelihoods and the expected loss of the same in a post-POSCO world? We attempt an answer to these questions by looking at the social and economic structures prevailing in the villages affected by the POSCO project.
- Memorandum Of Understanding Between The Government Of Orissa And M/S Posco For Establishment Of An Integrated Steel Plant At Paradeep. (This Memorandum of Understanding was made on the Wednesday day of June 22, 2005, between the Governor of Orissa on the one part and M/s POSCO on the other part.) [↩]
- Ibid., 9. [↩]
- Ibid., 7 [↩]
- Ibid., 17 [↩]
- Government in overdrive to launch Posco plant, 14th Jan 2010, Economic Times [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
- See “India committed to Posco project”, The Hindu, Jan 23, 2010, and “Centre clearing hurdles for Posco’s Orissa plant: MEA”, Economic Times, Jan 23, 2010 [↩]
- Efforts to get POSCO project off the ground, The Hindu, Jan 26, 2010 [↩]
- Orissa CM assures of speeding up Posco work, The Hindu, Jan 26, 2010 [↩]
- Redressing ‘historical injustice’ through the Indian Forest Rights Act 2006, August 2009 [↩]
- See text of Forest Rights Act, published by the Gazette of India [↩]
- See notification published by the Gazette of India [↩]
- Each village has a Gram Sabha that comprises every village resident older than 18 years of age. Gram Panchayats are the elected bodies and two or more villages may have a single Gram Panchayat. [↩]
- Timeline of Events Relating to Forest Rights in POSCO Area, published by the Campaign for Survival and Dignity [↩]
- Government in overdrive to launch Posco plant, Economic Times, January 14, 2010 [↩]
- These three Gram Panchayats administer the nine affected villages. It bears repeating that Gram Panchayats are the elected bodies and two or more villages may have a single Gram Panchayat, but each village has a Gram Sabha that comprises every village resident older than 18 years of age. [↩]
- The apparent duplication of names between gram sabhas and gram panchayats arises from the fact that a gram panchayat is often named after the largest village comprising the gram panchayat. For instance, Dhinkia and 2 other villages form the Dhinkia gram panchayat. Each village still has its own gram sabha. [↩]
- See letter by CPI Member of Parliament D. Raja to the Prime Minister, May 23, 2010 [↩]
- MoTA is the Ministry of Tribal Affairs [↩]
- See the MoEF/MoTA Committee “Report of visit to Jagatsinghpur (site of proposed POSCO project), Orissa, 23-24 July 2010”, August 4, 2010, 23, 2010 [↩]
- ‘Land acquisition for Posco illegal’, Business Standard, July 28, 2010. Also see letter by POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti to MoEF, dated August 23, 2010 [↩]
- Orissa pitches for Posco, questions panel’s findings, Economic Times, August 19, 2010 [↩]
- See MoEF letter to Orissa government ordering stoppage of work, August 5, 2010 [↩]
- The “Secretary” for a ministry is the highest ranking civil servant in that ministry. [↩]
- Despite the objective implied in its title, the FCA has become more an instrument for clearing forests than conserving them. About 1.14 million hectares of forest land has been cleared for non-forest use under this Act, with about 73% of all diversion of forest land for mining happening in the last ten years (data obtained from MoEF by environmental action group Kalpavriksh using RTI Act). [↩]
- Kanchi Kohli, 2008. “Divide and conquer, with plant and port” [↩]
- See Supreme Court Order dated August 8, 2008 [↩]
- Report by the Independent Fact Finding Team on Issues Related to the Proposed POSCO Project in Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), 19th to 22nd April 2007 [↩]
- Green Cry Over Posco ‘pollution’, The Telegraph, April 14, 2007; Amnesty International Statement on State force build-up in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa [↩]
- Report by the Independent Fact Finding Team on Issues Related to the Proposed POSCO Project in Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), 19th to 22nd April 2007 [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]
- Press Note — Civil Society Team Opposes POSCO Project, October 10, 2007, Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Sumit Chakravarty, Thomas Kocherry, Tapan Bose [↩]
- Nandigram-like Situation in Orissa?, by Mamata Dash, Subrat Kumar Sahu, Vijayan MJ and Sridevi Panikkar – Delhi Solidarity Group, December2, 2007 [↩]
- Brief Report On The Anti-Posco Movement, by Rajendra Sadangi, Convenor, Loka Pakhya (A Progressive Intellectual Forum), December 4, 2007 [↩]
- Dhinkia under Virtual Siege, Dr. BD Sharma, KN Pandit, Chakradhar Haibru Jr, BP Rakshit, Ajay in PUCL Bulletin Vol. XXVIII (1), January 2008 [↩]
- A State of Seige, Manju Menon and Sanchari Das, The Hindu Magazine, June 8, 2008 [↩]
- Tension flares over Posco but government upbeat, CNN-IBN, Dec 1 2007 [↩]
- Anti-Posco activist dies in attack, The Hindu, June 22, 2008 [↩]
- POSCO war zone – PPSS claims recovery of arms from school, Sourced from The Statesman, June 27, 2008 [↩]
- POSCO’s R&R offer to villagers – 6 crates of bombs and 75 swords? By Surya Dash, June 27, 2008 [↩]
- Anti-Posco movement leader’s son moves SHRC, Dec 24, 2008 [↩]
- Anti-POSCO leaders win local body polls in Orissa, IANS, May 6, 2009 [↩]
- Anti-Posco Activists Protest Leader’s Arrest, Statesman News Service, July 27, 2009 as quoted in Mining And Industrialization Update, Orissa, July 2009 [↩]
- Based on conversations with Prashant Paikray, spokesperson for PPSS [↩]
- Police Attack On Anti-POSCO People’s Movement – Chronology Of Incidents, by POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, May 15, 2010 [↩]
- 100 injured in police action at Posco-India project site, The Hindu, May 16, 2010 [↩]
- Orissa – Brief Report from Anti-POSCO villages – story of the injured people, by Partho Sarathi Ray, May 19, 2010 [↩]
- Scrap POSCO, by Fact Finding Team (led by Bombay High Court Justice Suresh Hosbet), May 27, 2010 [↩]
- Quacks treating injured Posco villagers, Zee News, May 17, 2010 [↩]
- Orissa – Brief Report from Anti-POSCO villages – story of the injured people, by Partho Sarathi Ray, May 19, 2010 [↩]
- “In principle approval to POSCO SEZ in Orissa with an investment of over Rs 53,000 crore…” Press Release by Department of Commerce, 28 Sept 2006 [↩]
- Minutes of the 37th meeting of the SEZ Board of Approval held on 15th December 2009 to consider proposals for setting up of Special Economic Zones; POSCO project is listed as having obtained the in-principle approval [↩]
- The Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 published in The Gazette of India, June 23, 2005 [↩]
- For some good information on the relevant taxation issues, see the articles compiled at Seminar [↩]
- See the Press Note issue by the Government of Orissa at the execution of the MoU with POSCO, “Government of Orissa signs MoU with POSCO of South Korea for establishment of an integrated steel plant at Paradeep,” 22nd June, 2005 [↩]
- See, for instance, “Orissa seeks SEZ status for Posco plant”, Dillip Satapathy, Business Standard, June 28, 2005 [↩]
- ‘Orissa to gain Rs 77,870 crore from POSCO project’ The Economic Times, 7 Dec 2007 [↩]
- Social Cost Benefit Analysis of the POSCO Steel Project in Orissa, Mr. R. Venkatesan & Dr. Wilima Wadhwa, January 2007 [↩]
- Opportunity Cost Incurred in Granting SEZ Status to POSCO – India and Tax Revenue Inflows to Government from POSCO – India Located in SEZ Area, Annex V, p 51, Ibid. [↩]
- Ibid., p 52 [↩]
- Ibid, p 53 [↩]
- See Table “Comparison of Tax Revenue between SEZ and DTA”, row 4, p 52, Ibid. [↩]
- See Facilities and incentives for SEZ Developers and SEZ Units [↩]
- Centre’s spanner in Orissa’s captive ore policy, The Financial Express, Jan 15, 2007 [↩]
- Posco project to contribute 11.5% to Orissa GDP, The Hindu, June 22, 2010 [↩]
- Sponsors and partners of NCAER [↩]
- Centre for Science and Environment, 2008. Rich Lands Poor People. (“The global mining industry is having a dream run. Between 2002 and 2005, the index of world prices of minerals, ores and metals has more than doubled. The real prices of most metals are at 10-15 year highs. This has ushered in an era of frenzied mining and profiteering in countries like India, disregarding all environmental and social implications.” p. 24). [↩]
- Without mining lease, Posco may shut shop, Financial Express [↩]
- A.K. Agrawal vs. State of Karnataka & Ors., 2010 [↩]
- Which costs were Rs. 400 per ton as per the data contained in Agrawal vs. Karnataka (Id. [↩]
- The low point for worldwide mineral prices was immediately after the financial crash of 2008 as per the historical commodities pricing database maintained by the International Monetary Fund [↩]
- UNCTAD Trust Fund Project on iron Ore Information, 2010. The Iron Ore Market 2009-2011. [↩]
- Rs 3,330 (Profit) = Rs 4,500 (Sale Price) – Rs 800 (extraction costs) – Rs 370 (ad valorem royalty on net proceeds, where net proceeds are the sale price minus the extraction costs). [↩]
- Posco plans hit hurdle in Orissa High Court, Indian Express, July 15, 2010 [↩]
- Orissa to move SC over POSCO project, Hindustan Times, August 31, 2010 [↩]
- Efforts to get POSCO project off the ground, The Hindu, Jan 26, 2010 [↩]
- Memorandum Of Understanding Between The Government Of Orissa And M/S Posco For Establishment Of An Integrated Steel Plant At Paradeep [↩]