The Centre is keen on getting South Korean steel major POSCO’s Rs. 54,000-crore project in Orissa off the ground and is trying its best to ensure that all regulatory clearances are through within the next 4-5 months, Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Monday.
“Efforts are being made to ensure that the entire matter is seen, signed and delivered in the next 4-5 months. This includes physical transfer of land and all regulatory clearances to POSCO,” Mr. Singh told reporters after an eight-member POSCO delegation headed by company’s Chairman and Global Head Joon-Yang Chung called on him.
The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the visiting South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, taking up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Steel Minister said that once the matter was addressed, the company would start production in two years. “It was a fruitful meeting,” Mr. Joon-Yang Chung said after the meeting.
Mr. Singh said mines had already been allotted to POSCO but some claimants, including a public sector undertaking, had moved the Orissa High Court against this. Mr. Singh said the government would request the High Court to dispose of the case expeditiously, adding that the litigant PSU would also be persuaded to withdraw the case. He said the steel giant was also in talks with Maharashtra and Karnataka governments for steel projects which would be over and above the Orissa project.