Orissa to Lakshmi Mittal: Please don't go

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Bhubaneswar:  Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has commented on the reports that Lakshmi Mittal may move his mega steel mill out of the state unless things move faster. Patnaik told NDTV that he'll try his best to keep the steel major in his state.

Earlier on Monday, ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said the company has no plans to quit India and in the event land acquisition continues to prove difficult, it would start to search for alternative sites in India.

He clarified the company's stand after reports said the world's largest steel maker has threatened to abandon its $20 billion steel projects in Orissa and Jharkhand over delays.

"India is an important country for steel demand growth and is an important part of ArcelorMittal's long-term strategic plans. The company continues to work on its two greenfield projects in Jharkhand and Orissa," he said in a clarification note.

Earlier, the Financial Times said, "Lakshmi Mittal is close to pulling out of a $20 billion plan to build two large steel plants in India the centrepiece of efforts by one of the world's most prominent industrialists to expand in the country of his birth."

The newspaper quoted Mittal as saying that the delays in persuading farmers and others to sell the land required for building the plants were "unacceptable" to the company.

Shortly after the merger of Mittal Steel with Arcelor in 2006, Mittal had announced plans for a 12-mtpa steel plant in Orissa and thereafter an identical project in Jharkhand. But work on acquiring land for the projects hit a wall.

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