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Harsimrat defends Centre on Amethi food park issue: Project was more of a mega power plant

Badal said data available with her Ministry showed that the proposed project was more of a “mega power plant” in the garb of a mega food park.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 19, 2015 1:11:35 am
 rahul gandhi, narendra modi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal,  rahul gandhi amethi, rahul amethi food park, amethi food park, congress, bjp government, nda government, smriti irani, rahul gandhi padyatra, lucknow news, india news, nation news Rahul Gandhi

Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was telling a “mega lie” about the proposed mega park in Amethi.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi visited many nations, but not one farmer, says Rahul

“Until now, he would not have been aware of even the location of the proposed food park in Amethi. He is telling mega lies in the name of the food park,” Badal told reporters, hours after Gandhi, touring Amethi, launched an attack on the NDA government.

Badal said data available with her Ministry showed that the proposed project was more of a “mega power plant” in the garb of a mega food park.

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“The food park’s promoters had been assured of a unique advantage that gas from the nearby GAIL plant would be supplied at subsidised rates for a captive power plant inside the plant to run operations of the park.

The Petroleum Ministry of UPA government had refused this proposal saying such subsidy was not possible, making the project unviable for the promoters,” Badal said. “Now, who had assured such unique subsidy to the promoters is a question the Congress needs to answer,” she added.

She further said that the proposed food park’s revenue model, which is available with her ministry, showed that 67 per cent of revenue was to come from sale of surplus power against 18 per cent from activities involving farmers and food processing. “I was astounded while reading this. Was it going to be a mega food park or a mega power plant?,” she said.

Badal, who spoke on the food park row in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, said the ownership of the land allotted to the project had to be transferred to the food park within 24 months.

“But nothing happened in two years after which an extension was given. It was after the extension was over earlier last year that the promoters were given a showcause notice seeking reasons why the allotment should not be cancelled,” she said.

“It took Rahul Gandhi 10 months to realise that the food park project has been cancelled. When they were in power, they did not do anything about it. Why is he talking now?” she added.

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