Simplify land acquisition, mine allotment processes: Tata Steel
New Delhi: India needs to simplify its processes for land acquisition, allocation of mines as well as granting environment and forest clearances to lend certainty to execution of big projects, Tata Steel has said.
The management comments in Tata Steel annual report, 2012-13 come amid top global steel makers Posco and ArcelorMittal scrapping projects worth USD 18 billion in India last week because of inordinate delays on various fronts.
While Posco decided to exit USD 5.3 billion project in Karnataka, ArcelorMittal scrapped its USD 12 billion project in Odisha, for not being able to secure land, iron ore mine and other regulatory clearances.
ArcelorMittal's project was one of the biggest foreign direct investments that India had attracted.
"Simplification of the process of land acquisition, expediting the process of environmental and forest clearances and putting in place a mechanism for mining allocations, in our view, will give the required impetus to steel investment plans and lend certainty to project execution," Tata Steel management said in the annual report.
Tata Steel itself has faced several hurdles in executing projects in the country in past. Its upcoming 6 million tonnes steel mill in Odisha's Kalinganagar, the first plant outside Jamshedpur, has been delayed by several years due to various issues related to land acquisition. This escalated the project cost for Tata Steel by several thousand crores.
The company is now expecting to commission the first phase of the project by the end of 2014-15 and has accorded it the top most priority.
Moreover, its Rs 35,000-crore steel project in Karnataka, which will have a 6 million tonnes capacity, is stuck due to want of captive iron ore mine.
The project, originally proposed by Tata Steel's to-be- merged subsidiary Tata Metaliks, was to come at Haveri district, which is near the iron ore mining belt of Bellary.
Land acquisition for the project has been completed but there has not been any word from the state government on allocation of captive iron ore mine, a pre-requisite for setting up a steel plant.
The company is also waiting for a policy signal from the Karnataka government on the mining lease allocation as preferential allocation has become tough following a Supreme Court order of lifting the mining ban in the state. The apex court has laid down broad parameters of allocating new mines in the state.