Naveen defends POSCO, slams Cong
Bhubaneswar: In the backdrop of renewed
agitation against POSCO over lapsed MOU and land acquisition,
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said the pact was
not mandatory for setting up any industry and questioned
Congress' stand on the Rs 52,000 crore project.
"MoU is not compulsory for taking up construction in
connection with establishment of an industry," Patnaik said in
the state assembly.
Stating that MoU was merely a facilitating instrument,
he said there had been no illegality by taking up activities
for setting up Posco's 12mtpa mega steel plant.
Establishment of industries and construction activities
have been taken in the state by many industrial units without
signing MoU, he claimed. "Hence, construction at Posco site
need not wait for a fresh MoU," Patnaik said.
On the opposition to POSCO prorject by Congress,
Patnaik said "the stand taken by Congress leaders in Orissa
over Posco project puzzles me. POSCO project was initiated by
the central government headed by Congress."
Terming the project as the country's largest Foreign
Direct Investment, he said it was being reviewed by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh on a regular basis.
Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh, however,
claimed outside the assembly that Congress was not against
POSCO project. "We oppose the manner in which the state
government is handling issues relating to the project."