Verma vows to get faster clearance of pending steel projects

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) Steel Minister Beni Prasad Vermatoday said that getting necessary clearances for pendingprojects worth Rs 11 lakh crore would be his priority in theoffice as these are linked with development.

"If there is no income, how can we ensure development forthe country," Verma said soon after assuming office as thenew Steel Minister.

Various issues relating to environment, forest and othershave stalled work on 222 greenfield projects, including Poscoand Arcelor Mittal, across different parts of the country.

Verma said that India needs projects of these magnitudeto ensure steady income for the country and its population.

Asked about Rs 1.5 lakh crore mega projects of giantslike ArcelorMittal and Posco, stuck for various regulatoryclearances, Verma said he will look into the issues.

"I will try my best to increase the production and fulfildemand," he said.

Both ArcelorMittal and Posco had entered into pacts withOrissa and Jharkhand governments over five years back forsetting up Rs 1.5 lakh crore projects which remain stuck inwant of various regulatory clearances.

A seasoned politician from Uttar Pradesh, Verma said thelargest state of the country, Uttar Pradesh, would find aspecial position in his scheme of things and the statedeserves to get a better pie of the steel sector.

"I want to ensure a good justice to Uttar Pradesh sinceit is the largest state in the country. UP is my priority," hesaid.

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