Other firms will come if Posco exits steel project:Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal.

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image courtesy:Btvin - mobile

Undeterred by Posco-India’s offer to return the land provided for its steel project in Odisha, Union Minister Piyush Goyal today said if one company pulls out, others will come in.

“There are more and more opportunities in India and if one company chooses to pull out, others will come in,” Goyal said on the sidelines of International Diamond Conference ‘Mines to Market’.

Commenting on the delay in land acquisition and other issues, Goyal said the project approval “had happened during the earlier regime and now things are becoming more transparent”.

Meanwhile, Goyal said the Centre is working with state governments and trying to make things simpler for new companies to come in. “For the mining sector, to bring in transparency, we have separated exploration and exploitation of the mines by amending the Mining Act. Now things will become much easier,” he said.

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POSCO India Private Limited (commonly POSCO India or Posco-India) is an Indian subsidiary of Korean conglomerate POSCO.Its parent company POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005 with the state government of Odisha to construct a $12 billion steel plant.Various regulatory delays and controversies prevented the company from starting construction. The memorandum and has not been renewed.Apart from Odisha, POSCO India has project sites in Karnataka and Maharashtra states.

Odisha’s Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra had said that Posco-India in a letter requested the state government to take back its 2,700 acres of land provided to it near Paradip for setting up a 12 mtpa steel plant at an investment of Rs 52,000 crore.

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As the steel major had not made any formal communication with the Odisha government about its plan, the present letter is considered as the first move for scrapping of the project.

Late last year, the Odisha government informed the state assembly that Posco had not made any progress in setting up its $12-billion steel plant, even though the state government had allocated land for the purpose.

Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick had informed the state assembly that the government had seen media reports that Posco has temporarily put the project on hold.

Posco India, touted as the country’s largest foreign direct investment, which is mired in controversy for the last nearly 11 years, has put the project on hold.

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