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Odisha raps Centre for Posco project uncertainty

A day after Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought to blame the state government for the uncertainty over Posco project, Odisha government today held the Centre responsible for the “present situation”. 

“Had the Centre accepted the Odisha government’s recommendation of prospecting licence (PL) over Khandadhar iron ore reserve in favour of Posco, the present situation would not have arisen,” Odisha’s Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick said. <g data-gr-id="23">Prospecting</g> licence is awarded to a company for <g data-gr-id="24">prospect</g> of minerals in <g data-gr-id="22">a area</g> or a region. Mallick said the state government had made <g data-gr-id="20">recommendation</g> in favour of Posco much before the MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2015 came into force. 

“As the recommendation was made prior to the Act, the Centre should respect it and allow Posco to get PL over the iron ore reserve instead of asking the company to participate in the open auction,” Mallick said.

Expressing confidence that South Korean steel giant Posco would set up its proposed 8 <g data-gr-id="17">mtpa</g> steel mill near Paradip at an investment of Rs 52,000 crore, Mallick said the government will make alternative arrangements for the firm to provide raw materials. The company can get long-term raw material from the state-run public sector unit (PSU) Odisha Mining Corporation to meet its iron ore requirements, the minister said.

Replying to a question, the minister said the steel major has not come for discussion with the state government after the MMDR (amendment) Act came into effect. He said the government would discuss with the company for the smooth implementation of the project. 
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