Iron and Steal: The Posco-India Story

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The POSCO India project to build a 12 million tonnes per year steel plant in Orissa, with a captive port and iron ore mines, is widely celebrated as the single largest infusion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) since Indian economy liberalized in 1991. Estimated at US$12billion (Rs.52,000 crores), the project was claimed by Orissa government to “bring prosperity and wellbeing to its people” by embarking on major industrialization based upon exploitation of its natural resources. However, this project has faced strong resistance from a vigorous people’s movement on the ground, comprising of villagers apprehensive of losing lands and livelihoods. Consequently, five years after the project has been launched, it has yet to acquire a single acre of land, and has been embroiled in legal, logistical and procedural quagmires.