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Indian consortium didn’t scrap $10.8b mining project: Ambassador

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Amidst reports that said an Indian consortium has scrapped a mega mining project worth $10.8 billion in Afghanistan, India’s ambassador to Kabul, Amar Sinha on Sunday rejected the report and said the consortium has not come up with such a decision.

Quoted by Pajhwok Afghan News, the ambassador said the company in its recent meeting talked about other issues related to the project and concentrated on ways in connection of the project.

“Not correct. Meeting only did a SWOT analysis of opportunities and strengths. No decision of this sort,” Amar Sinha wrote in his twitter page.

Reports said on Saturday that the SAIL-led consortium of India’s leading steelmakers has decided to scrap $10.8 billion Hajigak iron ore mine project. 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.

The deputy minister of Mines and Petroleum, Abdul Qadoos, also rejected the reports, and said the contract was continuing and progressing well.

He said Indian and Canadian companies won the biding process in 2010 for Hajigak project. He added that the Indian company has not informed the ministry about scrapping the project. The report of Financial Express is baseless and false, he said.

After the Financial Express report about the gigantic mining project, a number of Afghans said they believe that Afghan government’s intelligence sharing deal with Pakistan and President Ghani’s pro-Pakistan stance could be the main reason behind the move by the Indian consortium.

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