Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest business houses of the country having interests in sectors like aluminium, telecom, cement, textiles, fertiliser, mining, retail, finance and insurance plans to invest about Rs 75,000 – 80,000 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.

… Birla, who was here to discuss some project related issues with the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, the company also intends to launch its retail business in Orissa as part of its national roll out plan. It will be launched within the next 6 months.

… Stating that the projects are proceeding well, he said, the company is committed to a lot of social work like setting up ITIs and health centres at the project sites.

… Regarding the resistance of the local 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 resettlemnet (R& R) package given to it. He, however, was non-commital about any additional package for the project affected people.

" We can not commit on the new package. As long as there is reasonable settlement we will be happy", he pointed out.

Regarding the possibility of investing in the port sector of the state, Birla said, the company is persuing the matter with the Orissa government and is expecting a positive outcome.

It may be noted, Essel Mining, a group company of the ABG had earlier proposed the state government to set up a port at Chudamani. However, the state government had not accepted its proposal.

The major projects of the group in Orissa include Utkal Alumina refinery at Raygada, Hindalco’s alumina smelter and power plant at Sambalpur and 3.5 million tonne per annum cement plant in Sundergarh district.