report sought from state for india-korea joint panel meet
press trust of india
Bhubaneswar, 25 October
Ahead of the seventh India- Republic of Korea Joint Commission Meeting (JMC) on November 9, the Centre has asked the Odisha government to submit a status report on the Posco project.
The Ministry of External Affairs in a letter to the state government said that the status report on Posco was required as the issue might be raised during the discussion with Korean delegates.
“Principal secretary, Industries, will attend the meeting. It is ascertained that the matter of Posco project may be discussed in the meeting,” P K Dash, Industries Joint Secretary, said in a letter. “It is, therefore, requested that an up-to-date status of Posco project may be furnished to this department early for kind appraisal of principal secretary, industries,” he said. The meeting comes ahead of the visit of South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, who is slated to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebration in New Delhi on January 26, 2014. Odisha’s Industries department has asked IDCO, IPICOL and the Jagatsinghpur district collector to prepare the latest status of the Posco project urgently so that it could be placed at the meeting.
South Korean Ambassador Joon-gyu Lee who recently met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here had expressed hope that construction of the project would start by next year.
The Rs 52,000-crore project, billed as the biggest FDI in India, is facing problems in view of the strong resistance by local people and delay in getting clearances from different agencies.
Though the proposed 12 mtpa project required 4,004 acres, the company later reduced its capacity to 8 mtpa and also scaled down its land requirement to 2,700 acre in view of the protests from local people.
Posco-India had signed MoU with the state government in June, 2005, the validity of which expired in 2010. The state government and Posco-India would soon sign a fresh MoU before construction began early next year, official sources said.