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Minister tips for industry

Ranchi, March 23: Salman Khursheed has a suggestion for industrial houses keen on setting up steel and power units in Jharkhand but cannot do so due to a number of hurdles — form a common platform to press for pending demands.

The Union minister for corporate affairs offered the advice at a breakfast meeting hosted by Congress MP from Ranchi and Union food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay at his residence.

Khursheed tried to know the problems being faced by a section of industrialists, who have signed MoUs with the state government over the past five years, but were finding themselves in a tight spot over availability of land and law and order problem.

Those who took part in the meeting included Jindal Steel and Power Limited executive director and deputy general manager N.A. Ansari and S.P. Sharan, respectively, Abhijeet Group CEO Arun Gupta and Usha Martin’s Samir Lohia. Representatives of JSW Steel Jharkhand Limited and Bhushan Steel Limited were also present among others.

“Almost every representative raised the issue of non-availability of land, the government’s indifferent attitude towards solving the problem and poor law and order situation,” said an industry representative on condition of anonymity.

Khursheed, in turn, promised the representatives that the Centre would take up the issue with the state government and that they should come to a common platform for getting their grievances addressed in a speedy manner.

Chief minister Shibu Soren had recently said during the ongoing budget session of the Assembly that a rehabilitation and resettlement policy was in vogue since 2008 itself and the state would do anything to help industrialists set up plants.

But nothing seems to be moving in right direction for the industrial houses that have lined up steel and power proposals.

Only Jindal Steel and Abhijeet could make headway in their proposed steel and power projects, respectively.

A majority of other industries are finding it difficult to get land either on their own or through government channels.

At least three big companies — ArcelorMittal, JSW Steel Jharkhand Limited and Hindalco Industries Limited — have shifted their sites due to resistance from the locals and government’s lackadaisical attitude to solve the problems.

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