Dr. Avnish Jolly, New Delhi, 2nd March, 2009 :India has lost the opportunity of employing more than 160,000 people with 18 major steel, power and auto projects getting delayed over land acquisition and forest and environment clearance issues, according to a study.
According to the study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), "the 18 strangled projects of India Inc to the tune of Rs 244, 815.5 crore remained on papers, in the form of memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreements over the past three-four years". However, a smooth implementation could have created job opportunities for at least 164,000 people directly and 270,000 people indirectly.
Sajjan Jindal, President, Assocham said that Assocham Research Bureau has identified 18 major projects announced by India Inc in sectors such as power, steel, automotive, IT, real estate and metals and mining that are just on papers and struggling for government clearances since 2003-04 till 2008. The delayed projects include Posco India’s proposed 12 million-tonne capacity steel plant in Orissa; it has already obtained in-principle for the special economic zone status needed for getting land in August 2005, and has pumped in some Rs.175 crore. But delay in land acquisition has been a major stumbling block, Assocham said, adding that a green signal could have generated employment for 35,730 people.
Tata Steel’s three greenfield projects in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh — on a cumulative investment of Rs 82,000 crore —are similarly in a state of uncertainty on account of land acquisition procedures. Assocham said the three projects could have created employment for at least 2,000-3,000 people directly.
Arcelor-Mittal’s steel projects in Orissa and Jharkhand are facing peculiar situation for the past three years. In Jharkhand, the company has got iron ore mines, but not the land, whereas in Orissa, it has land, but is yet to get mines. The planned investment in both the states are a little over Rs 43, 050 crore, and is estimated to have generated direct employment for over 5,000 people and indirect employment for about 20,000.
Some mega greenfield projects in Jharkhand, if implemented, would have created nearly 9,000 jobs, Assocham said, basing its estimates on proposed investments of about Rs 40,900 crore by Essar Steel, Jindal Steel and Power and Jindal South-West.
Assocham added that in the automotive sector also, M&M’s joint venture in Chennai with Renault and Nissan has been deferred following a delay in land acquisition; this would have created work for at least 5,000 people directly.