‘One reason for delay is issue of resettling people who would be displaced'

Even as India and Vietnam decided to extend their partnership in hydrocarbons to other countries, Hanoi said it would implement a $5-billion project proposed by the Tatas. The project, mooted two years ago, was put on the back burner over resettlement issues.

At a meeting with industrialists here, President Truong Tan Sang said his government understood the importance of the project and Indian and Vietnamese officials were trying their best to kick-start it.

The Vietnam President acknowledged delays including in permission for an investment licence for which Tata Steel has applied twice. It is said one reason for the delay, cited by Hanoi, was the issue of resettling people who would be displaced by the project, in which Tata Steel holds a 65 per cent stake and Vietnam Steel 30 per cent. The rest is with the Vietnam Cement Industries Corporation.

The three companies had signed the initial agreement four years ago and the final pact in 2008.

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