The West Bengal government and JSW Steel have finally resolved differences over the 10 million steel project at Salboni, paving the way for the lease agreement, five years after it entered into a development agreement with the state government.
A meeting was held today to clear the issues over a supplementary development agreement that reiterates the compensation package to land losers and a lease deed with the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) for 189 acres.
“The lease deed is expected to be signed over the next 5-10 days,” JSW Steel Bengal joint managing director and chief executive officer, Biswadip Gupta, said.
- January 11, 2007- development agreement with Left Front –led state government
- May 5, 2008- Government hands over possession of land
- November 2, 2008- Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lays foundation stone at Salboni
- June 19, 2011- Mamata Banerjee pulls up JSW Steel for delay
- August 5, 2011- Trinamool Congress government raises issue on land ownership
- August 10, 2011- Government decides to vest land
- July 10, 2012- Government-JSW Steel sort out differences
The agreement with the state government will also set milestones for the project, which is behind schedule by more than a couple of years. The first phase has to be completed within four years of signing the lease deed.
Minor glitches had held up the project for more than a year after the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal took charge. The new state government had vested the landg directly purchased by JSW Bengal Steel with it, since the company was said to have violated rules under the Land Reforms Act, according to the state authorities, for not seeking prior exemption under 14Y.
The Land Reforms Act of 1955 places a ceiling of 25 acres on land acquisition while Section 14Y exempts the ceiling in four cases: mill, factory, workshop and tea gardens. Though JSW entered into a development agreement with the erstwhile West Bengal government in 2007, it did not have a lease deed. The company had got permissible possession of the land.
Apart from the 10 million steel plant, the company will be setting up a 1600MW power project. The total investment in the project is Rs 35,000 crore.