Bhubaneswar: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye is likely to skip the Odisha leg of her India visit later this month as there has been little progress on Posco’s $12 billion project in the state, an official source said Thursday.
Park is scheduled to visit India with a high-level business delegation Jan 15. She is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior officials. The business delegation is expected to hold a dialogue with Indian businessmen on issues of mutual cooperation.
South Korean Ambassador Joon-gyu Lee, during his visit to Odisha last October, had said Park could visit the state to launch the South Korea-headquartered Posco’s project during her India visit.
“There is no information about South Korean president’s visit to the state,” a senior official of the state’s home department told IANS.
Posco’s proposed 12 million tonnes per annum steel plant, touted as the single largest foreign investment in India, is to come up near Odisha’s port town of Paradip in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, about 120 km from here.
The state government had inked a pact with the company June 22, 2005, which was valid for five years. The pact has not yet been renewed.
The state government claimed it acquired 2,700 acres of land required by the company to start construction for the first phase of the project (8 million tonnes per annum).
Except for the construction of an about one-km-long boundary wall, there has been no other progress on the ground, a senior district administrative official told IANS.