The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jindal inks welfare pact

Ranchi, July 5: Jindal Steel & Power Ltd today signed a memorandum of understanding for a 5-million-tonne integrated steel plant and a captive power plant to generate 1,000 MW.

Jindal Steel vice-chairman- cum-managing director Navin Jindal said the promised investment of Rs 12,500 crore would generate 10,000 jobs, besides indirect employment for 30,000 more people. He also promised to “generously execute” the company’s community development schemes in Jharkhand.

Vice-chairman and chief operating officer V. Gujral signed the agreement on behalf of the company, while industries secretary Santosh Satpathi inked it as a representative of the government.

Although the site of the proposed plant remains undecided, Gujral said the company has informed the government of its preference for the area between Jamshedpur and Chandil, which is 30 kilometres from the steel city. A key factor influencing the preference is access to the Subarnarekha river, he said.

Both Jindal and Gujral claimed that production in the plant would start within three years of getting possession of the land. Education, health and infrastructure development will be given the highest priority and the remaining work completed in five years.

Claiming that it will be one of the biggest steel plants in the country, Jindal executives said the company planned to export 50 per cent of the production.

“My elder brother Sajjan Jindal preferred setting up a steel plant in West Bengal, but I chose Jharkhand because raw material is available here in abundance. Besides, the chief minister is taking keen interest in our project and the officials have been extremely cooperative,” said Jindal, who is also a Lok Sabha member.

Commenting on the perceived lack of infrastructure in Jharkhand, he said: “Our company’s chairman, late .P. Jindal, firmly believed that infrastructure begins to develop automatically once industries become operational.”

Chief secretary P.P. Sharma said a designated officer of the government will coordinate between the company and the government. The nodal officer, he informed, would be appointed shortly. The government has also undertaken to provide power supply till the company’s captive power plant becomes operational, he added.

Also present on the occasion was leader of the Opposition Sudhir Mahto and mines minister Madhu Koda, who predicted a “steel revolution” in the state with both Mittal Steel and Essar expected to follow the Jindals.

Navin Jindal welcomed the entry of other steel giants and said he favoured healthy competition in the market.

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