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Mittal dumps Jharkhand, eyes Orissa
July 07, 2006 11:37 IST
Last Updated: July 07, 2006 15:14 IST
Mittal Steel chief L N Mittal on Friday announced his intention to set up a 12 million tonne steel plant in two phases in Orissa and hoped to sign an agreement to this effect soon.
He made the announcement shortly after arriving in India to firm up his plans for investment in the country of his birth.
Mittal said that the total investment in the plant could be of the order of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 crore (Rs 300-400 billion).
He indicated that the company has dropped a proposal to set up a plant in Jharkhand of equal capacity because of the delays in Ranchi and instead concentrate on Orissa.
"Though the Jharkhand government is cooperating, we are not happy with the progress there. We are weighing our options in Orissa. We want to move fast," the world's biggest steelmaker told reporters after meeting the Orissa chief minister.
The biggest steel tycoon in the world Lakshmi Niwas Mittal and his son Aditya landed at Bhubaneswar airport around 0930 hours in a chartered aircraft and headed for the state secretariat to meet Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his cabinet colleagues.
He was accompanied by his chief India representative and Mittal Steel Jharkhand CEO Sanak Mishra.
Mittal is slated to depart for New Delhi in the afternoon where he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and other ministers of the United Progressive Alliance government.
The Netherlands-based steelmaker's arrival has generated considerable interest in the domestic market. Rumours were doing rounds that he could reconsider relocating his 12 MT steel plant from Jharkhand to Orissa.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Friday said he had no problem with Mittal Steel's decision to set up a steel plant in neighbouring Orissa, even as he defended the tardy pace of work on the company's greenfield project in his state.
"He is a global steelmaker and is free to go anywhere. Sso why should we have a problem," the chief minister told reporters in New Delhi.
Asked to comment on Mittal's assertion that work on the 12 million tonne greenfield plant in Jharkhand was progressing very slow, Munda said the state was finalising a rehabilitation policy.
"When it is finalised, the process would gather momentum," he said.