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India not scrapping Hajigak project: envoy

India not scrapping Hajigak project: envoy

May 24, 2015 - 16:15

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Indian ambassador to Afghanistaninfo-icon Amar Sinha on Sunday rejected reports that Indian consortium scraped gigantic Hajigak iron ore mine project in Afghanistan.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News the company in its recent meeting discussed other related issue to the project and focused over ways in connection of the project.

Amar Sinha retweeted Pajhwok Afghan News, “Not correct. Meeting only did a SWOT analysis of opportunities and strengths. No decision of this sort.”

On Saturday Indian media reported the SAIL-led consortium of leading Indian steelmakers decided to scrap the $10.8 billion Hajigak iron ore mine project altogether.

The Financial Express reported that an inter-ministerial group is learnt to have come to the conclusion at its latest meeting that it would be prudent not to pursue the project.

In the meantime, Abdul Qadoos, Afghanistan deputy minister of Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, also refuted reports that Indian consortium scraped the Hajigak iron ore mine project in Afghanistan. He said the contract was ongoing and progressing well.

The ministry said Indian and Canadian Companies won the biding process in 2010 for the Haji Gak project. It said the Indian Company neither informed in written nor verbally about scraping the deal. The report of Financial Express is baseless untrue.

Though some perceive Afghan President Mohammad Ghani’s pro-Pakistaninfo-icon leanings could also be a reason for the move, sources in the know say the plan never really seemed progressing in the last four years though the Indian companies were initially “very bullish” about the project.

Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium (AFISCO) had got for three high-grade iron ore mines, having an estimated reserve of 1.28 billion tonne. The seven-member consortium, which includes JSW Steel, JSPL, NMDC and RINL, devised the plan to set up in phases a 6.12 million tonne steel plant, an 800 MW power facility, create infrastructure for mine development and necessary infrastructure at a cumulative investment of $10.8 billion over 11-15 years. This was meant to be the biggest foreign investment proposal by Indian firms.



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