Gujarat Cong Alleges Land Scam Worth Crores Under State Govt; BJP Refutes Charge - Vibes Of India

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Gujarat Cong Alleges Land Scam Worth Crores Under State Govt; BJP Refutes Charge

| Updated: June 17, 2024 17:25

Claiming a financial irregularities involving the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Gujarat Congress Chief Shaktisinh Gohil has made grave accusations of corruption involving land allotments valued at Rs 1,200 crore. Speaking during a news conference on Monday, Gohil showed records and government resolutions that he claimed exposed the government’s wrongdoings, thereby causing a Rs 350 crore loss to the state exchequer.

Gohil explained the purported scheme, saying, “Land allocation had corruption of Rs 1,220 crore. The BJP government disregarded public interest and allowed applications for land for chemical companies when China stopped manufacturing chemicals. Originally demarcating the land as a ‘saturated zone’, the GIDC Management Board decided to sell it. The price would have been driven to over Rs 10,000 per square metre by a public auction.”

Gohil said there was a dubious bargain involved. “The same management board changed its mind six months later and issued another resolution reversing the land price to Rs 2,780 per square metre. This quick reversal raises major questions. Guidelines published by the Supreme Court declare that government property cannot be assigned without a competitive offer,” he said.

In June 2023, the GIDC management had declared Saykha and Dahej estates as “saturated” zones, which required allocation of plots to be done only through public auction, but reversed the decision in February this year, Gohil told reporters.

The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation management declared the two estates as “unsaturated”, which meant plots could be allotted at a fixed ‘jantri’ rate without the need for public auction, he pointed out.

This was done to allot land at a throwaway price, Gohil alleged and sought an explanation from the BJP government on the reversal of the June 2023 decision.

Emphasising responsibility and openness, Gohil called for a court inquiry. “I have sought for a High Court or Supreme Court sitting judge to investigate. This is a serious corruption issue that calls careful investigation.”

Meanwhile, Rushikesh Patel, spokesperson for the Government of Gujarat, refuted the allegations of widespread corruption in the allocation process of plots to industries in Dahej and Saykha-based GIDC estates.

The Minister said GIDC obtained the necessary land from the government or through acquisition and provides land to industrialists on a no-profit, no-loss basis without developing infrastructure. GIDC is not an organization established for profit, so it cannot be compared with private parks or developers.

Patel said, “Chemical and engineering zones are situated within the Dahej and Saykha industrial estates. Since nearly 90 percent of the plots were sold in the chemical zones of these estates, therefore, in the 518th meeting of the Board of Directors, GIDC decided to declare only this chemical zone as saturated.”

“Subsequently, representations were received from various industrial associations and industrialists suggesting that an entire estate should be declared saturated only if 90 percent of its plots are sold in the whole estate. Accordingly, in the 519th board meeting, GIDC declared the entire Saykha and Dahej industrial estates unsaturated, where up to 90 per cent of the plots of the whole estates remain unallotted.”

“As a result, no land has been allotted to any industries in Saykha to date. Therefore, the allegation of financial loss to the government amounting to crores of rupees by allotting land in Saykha is entirely baseless and fictitious,” the minister added.

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