In a major setback to India's foreign direct investment initiatives, the world's largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, has abandoned a 12 billion U.S. dollar project of building a steel plant in the eastern state of Odisha, citing indefinite delays in acquiring land and an iron ore mine.
The company, headed by Indian-origin steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, had in 2006 agreed to manufacture 12 million tonnes of steel a year in Odisha. But it has now decided to scrap the plan, close to the heels of South Korean steel giant Posco scrapping a 5. 3 billion U.S. dollars project in southern India.
"ArcelorMittal has not been able to acquire the requisite land for the steel plant, nor has it been able to ensure captive iron ore security, which is a necessary requirement for the project," the company has said in a statement.
"Therefore, taking into account the current economic climate, ArcelorMittal has concluded it will no longer be pursuing its plans for a steel plant in Keonjhar (in Orissa) at this stage," it added.
Farmers in Keonjhar have been protesting against the forceful acquisition of land by the state government for ArcelorMittal, saying they are being compelled to sell land at below market rate.