Terming it as a “Mega Scam”, Opposition Congress and BJP in Odisha on Tuesday demanded a CBI probe into the alleged undue favour to certain industrial houses which availed loan from banks by mortgaging government lands allotted to them on lease for setting up industries.
The opposition parties’ demand came a day after the CAG in its report said that the state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (IDCO) had allowed 12 private promoters to avail loans worth Rs 52,000 crore from different financial institutions by mortgaging land sub-leased to them.
“The CAG has exposed a mega scam which indicated that the BJD government is for the business men and influential persons and not for the common men. We demand a CBI probe into the matter so that more information regarding such irregularities would be revealed,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress.
BJP legislature party spokesman and senior MLA Basant Panda also voiced similar demand saying that only CBI probe could give justice to the people of Odisha.
The ruling BJD, however, defended the government saying that the CAG report is not final. “The opposition
parties need to wait till the CAG report is discussed in Public Account Committee (PAC),” said senior BJD MLA and former minister Amar Satapathy.
The CAG report, which was tabled in the assembly by Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat on Monday said, “The audit report noticed that on the basis of the No-Objection Certificates issued by the IDCO, loans of Rs 52,423.50 crore were sanctioned by financial institutions in case of 12 promoters of MoU-based industries.”
On “irregular” grant of right to mortgage land and issues of NOC to promoters, the report said IDCO irregularly
conferred mortgage rights in the lease deeds executed with 52 MoU based and 54 non-MoU based industries, while handing over possession of 46,732.894 acres of land even though such a power was not vested with the state-owned PSU (IDCO).
Besides, the CAG’s audit finding said IDCO irregularly issued NOC to 26 MoU-based industries for mortgaging
13,846.238 acres of land allotted in order to raise loans from financial institutions, even though it was not authorised to do so.