‘Eastern states should join hands to develop steel industry’


Kolkata : India’s eastern states need to cooperate with one another for proper development of the steel industry in the region, experts said at a seminar here Wednesday.

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On the first day of a steel conference, ‘Indian Steel – Focus East’, organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce and Mjunction Services Limited, all speakers agreed that the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh should cooperate with one another, instead of competing for raw materials like iron ore and coal.

Chang ho Kwag, director, Posco Research Institute, said the Indian steel industry has vast potential, but capacity expansion and implementation of new projects are facing problems.

“Most of these problems are related to local issues like land acquisition and rehabilitation, so there should be a consensus on these issues. Local people should be educated about the benefits which they will get from these projects,” he said.

He said companies should concentrate on their corporate social responsibilities in order to tackle these human issues. “Before the implementation of the projects, local people should be taken into confidence. Unless this is done execution of the projects would be difficult,” he felt.

Sunil Kumar, director (industries) of the Jharkhand government, said that sharing of mineral resources with other states could be done through a proper policy framework and mutual consensus. A better future is possible only through cooperation, he said.

Vipin Vohra, chairman of the SPS Group, said the steel industry is suffering due to lack of infrastructure.

He said states promise a lot during signing of MoUs, but fail to keep their promises later. Many projects are pending due to this, he said, adding that infrastructure should be created even before MoUs are signed.