Saturday, December 9, 2023

This Is Not POSCO Plant On Hold, But Our Jobs On Hold

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The Leftists taunt that like a colony of the yore, we export iron ore instead of steel, but when one of the top steel makers of the world tries to make steel in India, they do everything to stop the company from making steel.

In a news item published in the Times of India today, it is revealed that POSCO, the steel giant from South Korea, has all but abandoned the steel plant that would have changed the entire steel industry of India, and would have generated a very large number of jobs, both in the upstream and downstream. It abandoned the plant after a ten year long struggle with Land Acquisition, and a recent change in the mining policy which violated initial pact with it to make available mines free. When one manufacturer abandons a proposed plant, a dozen others get the message, and that means we stay unindustrialised, eking our meagre livelihood through MGNREGA.

“In March this year, South Korea’s biggest steelmaker had tried to get back the money it gave to government agencies in Odisha to secure some of the land, and for railway connections, according to three people and company letters seen by Bloomberg. Six of 13 employees at Posco’s Indian unit overseeing the project also “voluntarily” resigned, spokesman IG Lee had said in a text message earlier.

In a letter sent to Haridaspur Paradip Railway Co, Posco India had sought a refund of Rs 27.5 crore ($4.4 million) paid in 2006 for a 10% stake in the rail infrastructure firm mandated to lay the tracks, according to two people.

Posco also asked the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corp, or IDCO, to return money paid for the lease of seven acres of land, which has remained pending, according two people and a separate letter to IDCO.

The 82km (51-mile) new rail link being set up by Haridaspur Paradip Railway seeks to connect Paradip port and Haridaspur, which is a “virtual extension of the iron ore belts of Bansapani-Tomka where Posco India’s captive mines are going to be located”, the company had said in a website post on October 11, 2006.

In February this year, Posco decided to shut its engineering and construction unit in India after failing to win orders, according to one person, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private, and letters sent to three employees. The Gurgaon-based unit, which designs steel plants, had asked 35 employees, about half its workforce, to resign by February 26.”(from the news item)

To read the news item click here.

(To read an earlier article giving a definitive account of how scrapping of industrial plants leads to disappearance of jobs, click here.-Ed)

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