State

India delays decision on iron ore licence for POSCO's $12 billion plant

Bhubaneshwar, Oct 18: The government has again delayed a decision on permitting POSCO to mine iron ore, seeking more clarifications from Odisha where the South Korean company has waited nine years to set up a $12 billion steel plant.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in January that POSCO's request for a mining licence - the final regulatory hurdle for the project which would be the biggest foreign direct investment in India - was at an "advanced stage of processing".

But nine months on, little progress has been made on the ground. The company has yet to start work on the planned 12-million-tonnes-a-year plant due to stiff opposition to land acquisition and delays in securing permission to mine iron ore, a raw material for steel.

The Mines Ministry last week wrote to Odisha seeking clarity on how much of the mining land sought by POSCO was notified as an iron ore bearing area where commercial mining was allowed. Mining in non-notified areas needs more approvals than in notified areas.

On Saturday, the Mine Ministry's website showed the status of POSCO's request to explore iron ore over an area of 6828.54 hectares as "rejected/returned" as of October 10.

"They have not completely rejected. Our proposal was for both notified and non-notified area together," Odisha's Mines Director Deepak Kumar Mohanty said late on Friday. "So they have again asked if you are willing to separate out because notified area consideration parameters are different."

POSCO's India-based spokesman IG Lee could not immediately be reached for comment. POSCO officials have said it was unlikely to build the plant without assured supply of iron ore.

In his push to revive manufacturing in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited domestic and international companies to "Make in India". But one of his senior colleagues, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram who hails from Odisha, has said he would continue his long-standing opposition to POSCO's plant.

-Reuters

Odisha BJP to 'chargesheet' BJD Govt over 36 corruption cases, releases booklet

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to State, the Odisha BJP has decided to reach out to people with a list of allegations agai...

Announce Special package for Odisha before visit: PCC chief urges PM

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announce a speci...

5 Killed In Lightning, Warning For 22 Districts Till May 26

Bhubaneswar: At least five persons, including two minor boys were killed in separate incidents of lightning in the State during the past 24 hours. Amo...

March 2020 Deadline For Bolangir LPG Bottling Plant: Pradhan

Bolangir: Taking a step towards fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Purvodaya' (A prosperous East for a New India), Union Minister Dh...