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India not my top priority for investment: Lakshmi Mittal

Unhappy over the delay in getting clearances for his projects, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, has said India was not his top priority for investment.

Speaking on the sidelines of a convocation of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, where he was the chief guest, Mittal said: 'I do not want to give you any timeline about my Indian projects...experienced so much of delay.'

'.. India is not in my top priority for investment, it is top priority as a country but not a top priority for investment,' he said.ArcelorMittal had inked an MoU with Orissa government in December 2006 to set up a 12 mtpa steel plant in Keonjhar district at an investment of Rs. 40,000 crore, but it has been facing delay. Another project of the company in Jharkhand is also facing delay.

Meanwhile, sharing his global outlook on steel, Mittal said that despite the European steel demand being down by 30 per cent, emerging countries like India and China as also Africa will continue to do well.

According to him, global steel demand would continue to grow at around 3.5 per cent.'Inspite of the fact that European steel demand is down by 30 per cent... there are many countries around the world like American region, emerging markets like India, China, Africa, all these countries will continue to grow,' Mittal said adding globally the demand for steel would continue to grow at 3
to 3.5 per cent.


IMG TO MEET TODAY, DISCUSS DELAYS IN ARCELORMITTAL, POSCO, OTHER PROJECTS

Concerned over delays in steel projects including those of Posco and ArcelorMittal’s proposed plants in Odisha, costing $12 billion each, an Inter- Ministerial Group (IMG) on Monday is likely to come out with suggestions to fast-track them.

‘The IMG in its meeting, would take up the issues impeding steel projects including delays in the grant of environment clearances,’ said a Steel Ministry official.

‘The agenda includes steps for revalidation of environment clearance to Posco project and mining lease grant to ArcelorMittal project,’ the official said.Other projects to be reviewed by the IMG include Tata Steel’s proposed six million tonne steel plant in Odisha as well as Bhushan Steel’s three million tonne steel plant in the state.
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