New Delhi: Taking exception to L N Mittal's remarks "defaming" India, Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma on Tuesday said the government is ready to extend all possible help to the billionaire's company, ArcelorMittal, for setting up steel mills in the country.
"Des ka jo badnam karte hai..yeh galat hai (Those who defame the country, it is wrong). He has never spoken to us, nor with the government. I have never met him. I don't know his face," Verma said commenting on Mittal's statement on India.
"Has he ever spoken to us? Has he ever spoken to the government? Whatever is his problem, he needs to inform us. We will do whatever we can," he said.
Mittal, Chairman of the world's largest steel making firm ArcelorMittal, had said on June 19 said, "Industrialisation is an important part of every major economy's development and by risking progress...India is potentially condemning hundreds of millions to remain in poverty longer than previously anticipated".
ArcelorMittal has plans to build two mega steel plants of 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) each in Jharkhand and Orissa and one six mtpa plant in Karnataka with a total outlay of Rs 1,50,000 crore (USD 30 billion).
However, marred by regulatory delays and problems in land acquisition, the company has put its Orissa plans on the back burner, while in September, 2010, it shifted its plant site in Jharkhand from Khunti-Gumla to Bokaro.
On the other hand, land acquisition for ArcelorMittal's Karnataka plant, being processed by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), is progressing.
India needs such big-ticket investments to achieve its 200 mtpa steel making capacity target by 2020, Verma said. The country's current installed steel-making capacity stands at around 80 mtpa.
Mittal had in May also stated that it may take his firm another 5-10 years to start India projects.
"We continue to experience difficulties in India. My belief is that the Indian projects may not see the light for five to 10 years," he had said during that time.


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