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Slow decision making, no paralysis: Lakshmi Mittal



Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal's plans of setting up three steel plants in India have seen delays after delays. And today Mittal voiced some of his concerns. He said that though there was no policy paralysis, "surely things are moving slowly. There is no doubt. Process approval is taking time".

Globally, Mittal's company ArcelorMittal is the largest steel maker with over 100 million tonnes capacity. About eight years back, Mittal had proposed to set up steel mills with 6 million tonne capacity each in Jharkhand, Orissa and Karnataka. However, because of slow decision making, work for all these plants has not taken off, except little progress in Karnataka.

Mittal also showed his concern on poor infrastructure facility in India and said, "The biggest impediment is still infrastructure development."

On the issue of policy paralysis in the UPA-government, Mittal said his philosophy is not to complain but adapt to local policies.

"We have businesses all over the world. I tell my guys don't complain about the policies, try to adopt with policies... We don't complain. We have tried to adapt to local policies," he said.

Mittal also said that India was growing slower than its capability as the European Union crisis has affected emerging markets. Mittal said European economy may take 2017 to reach pre-crisis level.

"For an emerging market like us, we should grow more. There is so much of potential," Mittal said after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated the Bhatinda refinery to the nation.

The 9 million tonne Bhatinda refinery is Mittal's first mega investment in India's energy sector, where work started in 2004. The Bhatinda refinery is joint venture between an investment arm of Mittal and state-owned refiner Hindustan Petroleum.

About the global economy, Mittal said while the US economy appears to have come out of the 2008 crisis, the recovery in EU would be slow because of various issues.

"My guess is that (for EU) to reach pre-crisis level of 2007, it will be 2016/17," he added.

Story first published on: April 28, 2012 15:36 (IST)




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