Not adequate coordination between Centre, states: ArcelorMittal

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 16 2013, 03:34am hrs
There is "not adequate" coordination between the Centre and state governments for setting up projects in the country, said a top official of ArcelorMittal, which is struggling to move ahead with its USD 30 billion projects in India for last several years.

"We need also more intensive interaction between the Central government and state governments, which I think is not adequate particularly with respect to Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka," company's Vice President and CEO for greenfield projects in India Sanak Mishra said here.

Speaking at a steel round table, organised by industry chamber CII, he also suggested setting up a National Steel Council, having Chief Ministers or Chief Secretaries as members to sort out the issues impacting the sector.

"This needs to be institutionalised, my suggestion is, through a National Steel Council where the Chief Ministers can play an important role or Chief Secretaries play very important role," he said.

The Lakshmi Mittal-led steel giant has failed to make much progress so far in India, despite announcing two mega steel projects of 12 million tonnes (MT) each way back in 2006.

The two projects, one each in Jharkhand and Odisha, have been marred by various issues, including stiff opposition by the local people on land acquisition front and regulatory delays. The two projects were supposed to get about USD 24 billion investments.

Due to delays, ArcelorMittal has already put Odisha project on backburner, while it is yet to acquire land fully in Jharkhand.

The problems also led to company shifting its focus on Karnataka, where it intends to set up a 6 MT plant for about USD 6 billion. However, here also, only land acquisition has been completed and several other regulatory clearances, including iron ore linkage, are still awaited.

In May last year, ArcelorMittal chief Lakshmi Mittal had told company shareholders during the annual general meeting that India plans may not materialise for "5 to 10 years" and it does not figure in the priorities of the company.