Assocham backs uniform land, steel plant policy across states

August 11th, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), in a representation to the Prime Minister’s Office Monday, has called for a uniform policy across states for setting up steel plants. Assocham president Sajjan Jindal, who is also the vice-chairman of JSW Steel, said states such as Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand that are rich in iron ore reserves have different land acquisition policies, which unsettles steel manufacturers.

“Steel manufacturers have to pursue one course in one state and another elsewhere, which causes problems in the execution of projects and adds to costs,” Jindal said.

“The central government in consultation with the state concerned should immediately put in place a policy to direct the prospective investors to execute their investment plans so that no untoward law and order situation arise and industrial investments are carried out in a peaceful and friendly manner,” he added.

The chamber said minerals constituted national wealth and ought to be used in the country’s interest in an equitable manner, without local disruptions.

Citing the example of Orissa, Jindal said: “Many industrialists who want to put up huge capacity steel plants are facing difficulties in acquiring land due to resistance from local people, which delay projects and send out wrong signals.”

The Assocham president said such incidents occur in the absence of suitable and uniform mining policy, something that scuttles proper project planning.

“A uniform policy for steel manufacturers would create industrial climate for double-digit growth as steel constitutes a substantial element in the infrastructure sector,” he said.

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