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Posco project: High expectations on Gupta panel report

October 12, 2010 18:08 IST

With the four-member central team set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) delaying submission of its report on Posco's proposed steel project by one week, BJD heavyweights were hopeful over the fate of the country's biggest FDI.

The central team headed by former environment secretary Meena Gupta, which was initially scheduled to submit its report on Monday, was expected to do so on October 18. The Gupta committee was probing into alleged irregularities in implementation of environment laws and forest rights acts in the Rs 51,000 crore (Rs 510 billion) project.

"We hope the Centre will adopt a different view on the Posco project as it is known as the Prime Minister's preferred project," senior BJD MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had held several review meetings on Posco project and even invited Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to have direct talks with the South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on January 26.

Mohapatra, considered as number two in the ruling BJD, was hopeful that the Posco project would not face the fate of Vedanta's mining and refinery project.

As the Posco project was the country's biggest foreign direct investment (FDI), the Centre could take a lenient view on it, said Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty adding that Union Steel Minister Virabhadra Singh had also given positive signal regarding the South Korean steel maker's project.

MoEF had issued a "stop work" notice to the state government in early August based on the recommendation of the Saxena Committee report.

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