Government’s touted investments remain on paper, plots given away to chosen few: Congress

Sanjay Nirupam clarified that the Congress would fight the 2017 polls to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation alone, ruling out an alliance with former ally Nationalist Congress Party

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:November 3, 2016 2:25 am
sanjay nirupam, mumbai congress, congress sanjay nirupam, bjp, bjp mumbai, make in india summit, india news, mumbai news Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. (File Photo)

Mumbai unit Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam Wednesday said the government had ‘failed miserably’ in fulfilling its claim of making the state business-friendly. Nirupam also criticised the chief minister for not turning his much -publicised investment commitments to “reality”.

In a press conference, the Congress leader said that in February this year, the Make-In-India summit saw the state sign 2,603 MoUs committing a total investment of Rs 8.05 lakh crore and close to 3 lakh jobs. “The commitments have remained commitments since then, they have not moved to the next stage. According to updates, barely Rs 0.54 crore out of the Rs 2.20 lakh crore of commitments in the manufacturing sector have been realised. It sounds good when they say 0.54 crore, but it actually is just Rs 54 lakh,”said Nirupam, quoting government data.

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At the “Make-In-Maharashtra’ event, 2,097 MoUs were signed worth Rs 24,123 crore with MSMEs. The latest statistics indicate that 19 per cent of the companies have submitted Letters of Intent (LoI) seeking land, whereas another 12 per cent are under construction. Another 51 per cent are in the initial stage and 14 per cent cases have not moved ahead of the MoU stage. “This means that just Rs 1.6 lakh crore of the Rs 3.65 lakh crore, or 44 per cent of investment commitments, in the core industries sectors have actually materialised,” Nirupam said.

Nirupam said the most publicised investment commitments of the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had turned out to be huge disappointments. These included those with the global IT major Twinstar Industries (Rs 60,000 crore), and electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn (Rs 30,000 crore).

“The Twinstar project will not begin anytime before 2019 and Foxconn has withdrawn from Maharashtra. In the case of Foxconn, a couple of theories are doing the rounds, one of which is that the company rejected the government’s offer of tying up with a Pune-based builder and of setting up its base in Nagpur,” Nirupam claimed.

Accusing the government of offering prime plots in Multi-modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) to Ramdev’s Patanjali and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Aerospace at subsidised rates by incurring losses, Nirupam said, “PM Modi appeals to the public to give up subsidy while the Maharashtra CM is busy distributing land at concessional rates.”

Patanjali had quoted five per cent more than the base price and will thus be liable to pay about Rs 25 lakh per acre for the land. When seen against the backdrop of the going rate of Rs 1 crore, this means Rs 170 crore less to the state exchequer, he alleged.

Nirupam alleged that while Ramdev managed to get the land at the concession of Rs 75 lakh per acre, Anil Ambani was allotted a 111-acre land at around Rs 57 lakh per acre for an aerospace park. Reliance has only paid Rs25 crore yet, he said. “The reason for non-payment of the remainder is a tussle between MADC and Reliance over building a runway from the the aerospace park to MIHAN,” he said.

The government dismissed Nirupam’s charges as baseless.

A CMO official clarified that a four-member secretaries committee had determined the agro-zone in the non-SEZ area of MIHAN along with rates for the agro-zone.

“The entire process was followed by inviting open tenders. Thrice the process was carried out to get more competitors. Yet, at the end of third round, Patanjali was the only bidder and they quoted more than the stated base price. Accordingly, they were awarded the land as per the CVC norms. The rates quoted were not below the rates decided by the committee,” the official said.

According to another official, “There is still 150 hectares of land available and no takers. Patanjali has taken the land as per the market rates. So, where is the issue of favouring or giving any concession?. On the contrary, the previous government had given concessions to many business houses in MIHAN.”

The government maintained that the rate offered to Patanjali for agro-processing was nearly the same at which the Congress-NCP government had offered land to Boeing . “Similarly, land allotted to Anil Ambani was as per the prevailing market rate of Rs 60 lakh per acre. This rate was was decided during the previous government. Even now, 400 hectares of land are available at this rate,” the official said.