India putting the $12-billion Posco steel project in Orissa on the fast track ahead of the four-day visit of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday.
“Many of the issues have been resolved. The government of India and the state government of Orissa are trying their best to pave the way for the initiation of the project,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said on Friday.
The spokesperson also admitted that the Posco project in Jagatsinghpur district in Orissa, the largest instance of FDI in India, had not evolved at the pace the government would have liked it to, but efforts were on to clear the remaining hurdles.
The stage II environmental clearance was given on December 29 by the ministry of environment and forests, Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary (East Asia) in the external affairs ministry, said. There are issues involving land acquisition, Bambawale admitted.
The government is keen to set the right tone during the visit of the South Korean President, who will be the guest of honour at the Republic Day celebrations.
Around $2.7 billion in FDI proposals from South Korea have already been cleared by India, making Seoul the seventh largest foreign investor in India.
Lee begins his four-day visit in Chennai. A set of agreements, including in areas of IT and peaceful uses of space technologies, are expected to be signed on Monday after talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.