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You speak too much, minister tells Mittal

The steel minister Beni Prasad Verma has said that non-resident Indian billionaire L N Mittal should stop 'maligning' India and its government, asking why the steel baron was not setting up his plants in the country.

'He should stop maligning India and the Indian government. Why is he not beginning work on his projects?' Verma asked.

Mittal, the chairperson and CEO of the world's largest steel company ArcelorMittal had said in New York on 19 June, 'Industrialisation is an important part of every major economy's development and by risking progress... India is potentially condemning hundreds of millions to remain in poverty longer than previously anticipated.'

When asked about the problems being faced by ArcelorMittal with regard to land acquisition in Jharkhand and Orissa, the minister said that it was a state issue. 'In any case, Mittal never contacted me,' he remarked. He said the central government would extend cooperation if ArcelorMittal wants to go ahead with its India plans.

Verma said that South Korean steel major POSCO is now making progress in its USD 12 billion projects to set up 12 million tonne steel plant in Odisha. 'Those who want to go ahead, like POSCO, are making progress,' the minister said.

ArcelorMittal is waiting for six years to implement its USD 30 billion projects mostly in Odisha and Jharkhand. Mittal had recently also stated that it may take his company another five to 10 years to start India projects. 'We continue to experience difficulties in India. My belief is that the Indian projects may not see the light for five to 10 years,' he had said in May.
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