Nippon Steel’s Investment Proposal In Odisha A New Or Old One, Asks BJP

Bhubaneswar: The BJP on Friday came down heavily on the Odisha government for misleading the people on Nippon Steel’s proposed project during Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Japan.

Speaking to media persons in Bhubaneswar, BJP spokesperson Satyabrata Panda said the government must clarify whether Nippon Steel’s announcement to set up the steel plant in Odisha with 30-MTPA production capacity is an old or new project proposal.

Elaborating on the matter, Panda said during a visit to Japan in 2019, the then Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and a representative team had held a discussion with the Nippon Steel regarding investment in Odisha. Later, the state government held another round of discussion with the Japanese company due to the initiative of Pradhan on February 27, 2020.

“The government must announce whether the latest proposal is a new one or a follow-up of Pradhan’s initiative,” said Panda. He also raised question why Nippon Steel would establish a plant in Kendrapada while it would procure the raw material from Keonjhar mines.

Stating that the programme of the chief minister and his team would have lasted for not more than 6 hours, the BJP leader alleged that they, including Puri MP, were on a vacation to Japan.

On the other hand, the BJD said the Opposition has its right to comment on the chief minister’s visit to Japan. But they cannot imagine that such a massive steel project involving 31 MTPA can be set up in Odisha. It has been possible only due to the personal initiative of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said a BJD leader.

“The project would give a major boost to economic condition of the people of 3 districts including Kandrapada, where the plant would be set up, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur,” he added.

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