Posco likely to exit Odisha, asks govt to take back land

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BHUBANESWAR: South Korean steel giant Posco could scrap its steel plant project in Odisha as the company requested the state government on Saturday to take back the land allotted to it.

“Posco has urged the state government to take back the land. We have already communicated it to the chief minister,” industries minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.

On June 22, 2005, the South Korean steel giant had signed an MoU with the state government to set up a 12-million tonne per annum capacity steel plant worth Rs 51,000 crore near the port town of Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district. The company initially needed 4000 acres of land for the purpose but downsized its land requirement to 2700 acres after facing resistance from residents.

Although the land had been acquired by the state governmen, it transferred only 1700 acres to the company . The rest was held in reserve by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, which waited for the project to start before transferring the rest of the land to Posco.

Punitive tax should be imposed and collected from POSCO, NAC and POSCO Pratirodh Samiti towards the damege inflicted on Govt. Of Odisha on this issue. Osiha Govt. should move SC to get this implemented.Rameswar Pattanayak

Though officials in the state industries department are tight-lipped about the development, sources said the company would formally announce its exit from Odisha soon. Posco’s decision would come as a setback to the government’s industrialisation efforts as it is the second FDI after ArcelorMittal to pull out from Odisha.

As land acquisition is a major hurdle for industrial projects in Odisha, the state government, since November 2015, has been creating a land bank by acquiring land in different districts.