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Vedanta to invest 1,500 crore in mines

Special Correspondent

"Helpful attitude" of Rajasthan Government and the bureaucracy prompted the investment "Atmosphere for business is good in Rajasthan. Besides, the State holds big potential in mineral sector''

JAIPUR: Vedanta Resources, which owns India's largest zinc producing unit, Hindustan Zinc Limited, has announced a fresh investment of Rs.1,500 crores in its Rampura Agucha mines in South Rajasthan.

The new investment, which is to take place in a period of over two to three years, will facilitate additional production capacity of 1.70 lakh tonnes of zinc and 50,000 tonnes of lead per year.

Commercial production

Announcing this in the presence of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje here on Thursday, Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources, said his decision to put in another Rs.1,500 crores in the State was prompted by the "helpful attitude'' of the State Government and the bureaucracy.

"Atmosphere for business is good in Rajasthan. Besides, the State holds big potential in mineral sector,'' he said.

Only a fortnight back, Ms.Raje had formally inaugurated the commercial production of a 1.70 lakh tonnes expansion project of HZL at Chanderia in Chittorgarh district, along with a 154 MW captive power plant, made at a cost of Rs.1,500 crores to make it the world's sixth largest zinc producer.

"With the new investment we will be in the third or fourth position,'' Mr.Agarwal informed. "The day has come when the Government should allow the businessmen to do their business. We are here only to facilitate them. With the new investments it is becoming clear that Rajasthan is not just a tourism hub. It is tourism and manufacturing and tourism and religion, tourism and many other things...'' Ms.Raje said.

Disinvestment

Responding to queries on further investments Mr.Agarwal said his company would make a bid again at the Hindustan Copper at Khetri in Rajasthan when it is placed for disinvestment.

Mr.Agarwal on the occasion handed over a cheque of Rs.1 crore as his contribution towards the mid-day meal programme in Chittorgarh district. This gesture is in response to Ms.Raje's appeal sometime back to philanthropists and donors to contribute towards running of the mid-day programme in the State. "With the mid-day meals the school children are benefiting. They are growing strong. The drop out rate in schools also has come down,'' Ms.Raje observed.

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