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Punjab rethink on Mittal demand
Chandigarh, Dec. 17, 2010 (PTI): The Punjab government today said it would consider afresh the demand for incentives, including raising the limit of interest-free loan, by steel magnate L.N. Mittal for setting up the Bathinda refinery.
“We will take a fresh look at their demand (raising the limit of interest free loan),” Punjab industry minister Manoranjan Kalia said. He, however, did not give any time frame for deciding on the demands, particularly after the completion of 92 per cent work on the refinery.
Three months ago, Kalia had said the matter pertaining to the grant of additional incentives to the Rs 18,919-crore oil refinery being set up by HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) at Bathinda was still under consideration, without giving any time frame for resolving the issue.
In August, Mittal and the top officials of HMEL had visited the refinery site and even met Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and believed to have asked for additional fiscal incentives to the refinery.
About 92 per cent of work on the refinery have been completed and over Rs 14,000 crore has been spent on the project so far. HMEL has been seeking Rs 400 crore per annum as interest-free loan for the first 15 years from 2011-12 to 2025-26, which is to be paid back per annum from the sixteenth year – 2026-27 onwards – for the next 15 years, Kalia said.
At present, the state government has offered an incentive of Rs 250 crore per year interest-free loan to the Mittals for five years. “They (Mittals) are pleading that they are getting better concessions in other states. Now they are demanding a total interest-free loan amounting to Rs 6,000 crore,” he said.