Aditya Birla Group to invest Rs75000 crore in Orissa: Kumar Mangalam Birla

Kumarmangalam BirlaThe Aditya Birla Group (ABG), one of the largest business houses of India having interests in sectors like aluminium, telecom, cement, textiles, fertilizers, mining, retail, finance and insurance, plans to invest about Rs75000 crore in Orissa.

The proposed amount will be invested in sectors like aluminium, cement, telecom and retail sectors in the state over next few years. The proposed projects in the eastern state include an alumina refinery at Raygada, a smelter plant at Sambalpur and two cement plants in Sundergarh. The group also plans to foray into the telecom and retail business at Orissa, expected to launch within six months.

"We are committed to more investment in Orissa which is an important investment destination for us," group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said after meeting Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik at Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

Birla said he apprised the chief minister about the progress of different projects executed by the company in the state, and described the discussions as fruitful. Stating that the projects are proceeding well, he said, the company is committed to a lot of social work like setting up industrial training institutes and health centres at the project sites.

Regarding the resistance of the local displaced people to the alumina refinery project Utkal Alumina at Raygada, the group chairman said, a lot of projects are facing the same problem. The company has sought the state government's intervention in resolving the issue.

He said, ABG took over the company four years ago from Alcan Inc and the company has complied with the rehabilitation and resettlement (R& R) package given to it. He, however, was non-committal about any additional package for the project-affected people.

''We cannot commit on the new package. As long as there is reasonable settlement we will be happy", he reasoned. ''The chief minister has been informed of the problems the company is facing and he has assured us of looking into it.''