New Delhi: Months after mounting a blistering attack on the Indian system of governance that prevented big ticket projects, global steel giant ArcelorMittal on Friday exuded confidence that its mega Rs1.30 trillion investment would take off soon as some states were very “proactive”.
“There is a light. We are coming nearer the light. Overall I am seeing the light. I do not know which one will start whether Karnataka or Jharkhand,” ArcelorMittal CEO L N Mittal told PTI when asked if he was still pessimistic about his projects taking off in India.
The company is also working on a project in Orissa.
“I am satisfied with the progress what we have made in Karnataka.Let’s hope,” he said when asked if the world’s largest steel maker could shortly sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the steel project in Karnataka.
“Karnataka is definitely moving very fast. I am pleased with the progress we have made so far. We have tremendous cooperation from politicians and bureaucrats.”
ArcelorMittal had entered into a pact with Jharkhand government way back in 2005 to set up a steel plant with an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes. It unveiled similar plans for Orissa in 2006.
However, the plans have failed to take off till now amid problems in land acquisition and regulatory hurdles. Faced with inordinate delays, the world’s largest steel maker had earlier this year expressed interest for setting a Rs30,000 crore steel plant in Karnataka.
At present, the company is in the process of finalising a site for the proposed plant. The state government in January had expressed hope that an agreement could be reached with the steel giant by June this year for building the steel plant.
“I find that few state governments are very proactive. They like to help us to make progress in our projects. They are taking a lot of correct decisions. They have expedited the approvals. They also do not like to be defamed in the media.
“They do realise that investments are important and they have to come quickly or swiftly otherwise capital allocation will change. I have been saying to all the governments that if you will process our plans faster than our capital allocation will stay in your country otherwise our capital allocation could move to different countries,” he said.
In February this year, Mittal had slammed administrators in India for not being equipped to handle big ticket investments.
In the meanwhile, to mark its first operational presence, ArcelorMittal entered into a partnership with domestic firm Uttam Galva. At present, it is scouting for more such partnerships to grow its business locally.