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Left opposes export of iron ore by Posco

Prafulla Das

`Company's plans should be made public'

BHUBANESWAR: As the Orissa Government and the South Korean steel major Pohang Steel Company (Posco) are preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding for the setting up of a 12 million tonne capacity steel plant in the State, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Prakash Karat, has said that the company should not be allowed to export iron ore at any cost.

Speaking to presspersons after inaugurating the Orissa State office of his party here on Thursday evening, Mr. Karat demanded that the terms of the Posco proposal should be made public before the Orissa Government signs any agreement with the company.

Asked about the UPA Government's intervention in the proposed deal with Posco, Mr. Karat said "Certain quarters seem to have interest in the Posco proposal."

Mr. Karat said that the Left parties were opposed to the proposal of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in mining and retail trade. "Allowing 100 per cent FDI in mining would lead to exploitation of the country's rich mineral resources."

"We (Left parties) are now focusing on mining and export of mineral resources as this is a form of exploitation of our natural resources that cannot be created by us," Mr. Karat said.

As regards FDI in retail trade, Mr. Karat said such a decision would affect a large section of the population which was dependant on retail trading.

Speaking on the problems facing the people who are being displaced due to setting up of various industries in Orissa and elsewhere, Mr. Karat said that a strong campaign was necessary to ensure justice to the people being affected by development projects. "It is not the case of Orissa, the problem prevails in the whole country."

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