India plans: Mittal may look for other sites
ARCELORMITTAL, the world's largest steelmaker, said today it remained committed to building steel plants in India, but could abandon existing plans and look for a different site. “We remain fully committed to India,” a spokesman for the group said, though ArcelorMittal needed to keep its options in the country open. The Financial Times reported today that the group was close to pulling out of a $20bn (£12.5bn) plan to build two large steel plants in Jharkand and Orissa. The group’s chairman, Lakshmi Mittal, told the paper in an interview that delays in persuading farmers and others to sell the land ArcelorMittal needed for the development were unacceptable and that it might look for other places in India for its expansion. “This is just about building up a better bargaining position versus local authorities. The Mittals are committed to building business in India but they have trouble with land ownership,” Commerzbank analyst Dirk Nettling said. Another analyst also said the group was just flexing its muscles, hoping to secure ownership of the land swiftly. “(Mittal) does want to do something in India. But it has been difficult to secure the land, just like it was for Tata,” the analyst, who declined to be named, said. India’s Tata Motors Limited had to move the factory for its low-cost Nano car out of West Bengal last year after violent protests by farmers who lost land forced it to stop construction.
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