POSCO signed MoU with the Govt. of Odisha in 2005 to set up a 12-mpta integrated steel plant using eco-friendly FINEX technology over 4,004 acres of land near Paradip in Odisha. The MoU envisages that POSCO will set up necessary infrastructures and also develop iron ore mines in Odisha. It should be noted that POSCO’s Odisha project is a milestone project for economic cooperation between India and Korea. This project is part of Korea’s commitment to invest in India to enhance the bilateral trade / investment between the two countries.
In pursuance of the MoU, for the past seven years, the Govt. of Odisha has been making its effort to provide 4,004 acres of the land for the project. The land consists of 3,566 acres (89%) of the Govt. of Odisha owned land and 438 acres (11%) of the privately owned land. The approach towards the land securing process has been consensual and peaceful with regard to the local community. POSCO is committed to a fair land acquisition process and has been cooperating with the Govt. of Odisha and the Govt. of India in making all statutory compliances, including those of the environment, to obtain required approvals and clearances for the project.
POSCO has been highly sensitive to the human rights of the local community from the inception of the project. POSCO has never infringed upon any human right of any individual in the course of project implementation. Its policy has been inclusive and protective. POSCO has, therefore, always urged the Govt. of Odisha to first safeguard the human rights and livelihood of innocent villagers and rejects/deplores any unlawful violence against them.
As per the MoU, securing land is the responsibility of the Govt. of Odisha. POSCO will take over the land once the land is cleared of encroachments by the Govt. in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations. In consultation with the local community, an R&R(Resettlement and Rehabilitation) package, which gives R&R compensation over and above what is prescribed in the Odisha R&R Policy, 2006, was approved in 2010 by RPDAC(Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee), a body whose members include NGOs, local representatives, government officials and other stakeholders. In order to serve as responsible corporate citizen for social development, POSCO has been conducting various CSR activities such as free cleft-lip surgery, medical camps, school assistance, scholarship, flood relief, trekker service, street light installation, road construction work etc.
POSCO is sensitive to the environment and it has, therefore, been complying with all forest and environment regulations in getting required statutory clearances. In 2008, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India approved forest diversion of the land for the project. The Govt. of India got the forest diversion re-examined by the Saxena Committee andthe Meena Gupta Committee in 2010 and then granted the final clearance in 2011. As far as the environment clearances are concerned, POSCO got the clearances for the port and the steel plant in 2007. These clearances were subsequently reviewed by the same Committees in 2010. Having satisfied itself that POSCO complied with all applicable regulations, in 2011, the Govt. of India confirmed the environment clearances with some additional conditions [http://moef.nic.in/modules/others/?f=Posco]. In 2012, these clearances were again reviewed by the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal, which also confirmed them. However, the Hon’ble Tribunal instructed the Govt. of India to have the additional conditions on the environment clearances of 2011 reviewed by an expert committee [http://www.greentribunal.in/orderinpdf/8-2011(Ap)_30Mar2012_final_order. pdf]. The review work is in progress by the committee.
In consideration of the above, POSCO stands committed to the ethical management and fair business practice. It is committed to abide by the UN Global Compact's 10 Principles, ISO26000, and the OECD Guidelines for Multi-national Enterprises. It has never violated any international norms, including these Guidelines and Principles.
POSCO upholds its principle of protecting human rights through ethical practices. In compliance with its Code of Conduct, which has been revised in 2012 in consonance with its commitment to local, national and global communities, it will comply with international conventions on human rights, the environment, culture, and trade as well as local laws and accounting standards in every country it operates [http://www.posco.co.kr/homepage/docs/eng2/html/company/ethics/s91a3010050c.jsp].
POSCO reiterates that it has never violated any human rights or environment norms in Odisha and also assures all its precious shareholders and stakeholders that POSCO has committed itself to protect human rights through ethical practice. It shall also continue to work on further strengthening the human rights management and to be a true global leader. POSCO is open to engage with all its stakeholders and welcomes anyone who needs further clarification to write at email@example.com.