Steel magnate Lakshmi N. Mittal on Thursday ruled out his exit from the proposed Rs. 1-lakh crore steel projects in Jharkhand and Orissa despite facing problems in acquiring land and delays in securing regulatory approvals.

On the other hand, reports indicated that Mr. Mittal had proposed to the Karnataka Government setting up of a Rs. 30,000-crore six million tonne steel project in the State for which a memorandum of understanding is likely to be inked by mid-June.

The development comes close on the heels of Mr. Mittal having a meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa here on Thursday. “We are not satisfied with the progress made in Jharkhand and Orissa. We hope that we can make more progress than what we have achieved so far but our endeavour will continue. We have no plans to exit from any of our projects. The plan remains the same but the project can come in phases,” Mr. Mittal told reporters here.

On the Karnataka project, he said the State Government had given in-principle approval for the proposed plant. All regulatory and other clearances were in advance stages of approval while the company’s representatives had already done a survey of the proposed sites and mines.

The steel major had planned to set up a plant in Orissa and at the tribal-dominated districts of Jharkhand. The company needs about 10,000 acres in Jharkhand and about 8,000 acres in Orissa to put up these plants. Meanwhile, Mr. Mittal called on Union Minister of Steel Virbhadra Singh.

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