State

Problems of big projects to be sorted out soon, says Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Nov 16: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly assuring South Korea President Park Geun-hye to fast-track Posco project, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said the state would "sort out" problems of all big projects.

"I think all the big project problems will be sorted out.Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to South Korean President to put Posco under quick path," Patnaik said at an interaction orgainsed by a business daily.

Patnaik was cautious in using words in regard to the Posco project, which has been delayed by about 10 years. Though the South Korean steel major signed the MoU with the state government in June, 2005 to set up a 12mtpa steel mill at an investment of Rs 52,000 crore, then billed as the largest FDI in the country the project, it is yet to see light of the day.

The chief minister's statement on the big projects assumed significance as investments by Posco and Vedanta face problems in the state. The projects of both companies face the problem of raw material linkages.

While the steel major was yet to get prospecting licence for the Khandadhar iron ore reserve, Vedanta's project had been starving for the raw material after the state's plan to mine bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills in Kalahandi district failed. Recently, Patnaik had assured Vedanta Group chief Anil Agarwal of supply of raw material.

Prime Minister Modi has reportedly assured South Korean President Park Geun-hye at Myanmar that the government would give full support for setting up the mega steel plant proposed by Posco in Odisha.

Modi and Park met at the Korea-India summit, organised on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar. Meanwhile, the state government has recommended for a prospecting license (PL) in favour of Posco India to mine in the Khandadhar iron ore reserve in Sundargarh district of Odisha.

Stating this, Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick said the Centre had rejected the earlier proposals.

"Now we have sent the revised recommendation requesting the Centre to grant PL for a notified area of 2,083 hectares in Khandadhar iron ore deposit area," he added.

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