Ahmedabad: Unhappy over the delay in getting clearances for his projects, the world's largest steelmaker, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, today said India was not his top priority for investment.
Speaking to newspersons on the sidelines of the convocation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad(IIM-A), where he was the chief guest, Mr Mittal said, "I do not want to give you any timeline about my Indian projects... experienced so much of delay."
"... India is not my top priority for investment, it is top priority as a country but not a top priority for investment," Mr Mittal said.
ArcelorMittal, the steel giant belonging to him, had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government in December 2006 to set up a 12 mtpa steel plant in Keonjhar district at an investment of Rs 40,000 crore. The project, though, has been facing delay.
Another project of the company in Jharkhand is also facing delay.
Meanwhile, sharing his global outlook on steel, Mr Mittal said that despite the European steel demand being down by 30 per cent, emerging countries like India and China as also Africa will continue to do well.
According to him, global steel demand would continue to grow at around 3.5 per cent.
"In spite of the fact that European steel demand is down by 30 per cent... there are many countries around the world like American region, emerging markets like India, China, Africa, all these countries will continue to grow," Mr Mittal said, adding globally the demand for steel would continue to grow at 3 to 3.5 per cent.
Mr Mittal, in his convocation address, highlighted that European steel demand was down 30 per cent compared with the pre-crisis levels and it was not expected to return to pre-crisis levels even by 2020.
"We have to take action to re-size our operating footprint to the reality of the demand scenario," he told a large gathering at IIM-A.