Local Goa News

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Govt to expedite probe into SEZ land scam

Porvorim: Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar told the state legislative assembly that the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the vigilance department would be asked to expedite the investigation into the SEZ land allotment scam and submit a preliminary report.

Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho asked why the government had not acted against those who committed a fraud in 2006 in allotting land to SEZ promoters. In response, chief minister said, "After a preliminary report is received, we'll decide what action to take next."
He said the ACB would be asked to submit the report within 30 days.
Land admeasuring 38 lakh sqm was allotted to seven companies to set up SEZs in 2006.
Parsekar made the statement after Godinho asked whether the government was trying to protect anyone in the case. The ACB had started its investigation after an FIR was registered against Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) officials and politicians, soon after it came to power in March 2012 on an anti-corruption plank.
During the discussion, Godinho described the SEZ scam as the biggest scam ever in the state, even bigger than the illegal mining scam.
Parsekar also told the assembly that his government is considering "out-of-court settlement" with SEZ promoters to unlock 38 lakh sqm of prime industrial land locked in litigation. He added that "out-of-court settlement does not mean the government will give away 50% of the land to SEZ promoters" to settle the matter.
At the most, "we could leave 15-20 % of the land to promoters to retrieve huge tracks of land" coupled with a condition that GIDC will repay not a rupee to SEZ promoters if settlement is reached, the chief minister said.
In 2006, seven SEZ promoters were allotted land across the state at nominal rates.
But a year later, following protests by locals against SEZs, the government was compelled to scrap the land allotment. It was the government headed by Digambar Kamat that had scrapped the SEZ policy.
Also, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed challenging the legality of the allotment of the land, while SEZ promoters moved Bombay high court at Goa against the government's decision. In 2010, the high court quashed and set aside the land allotment and upheld the state government's decision.
The SEZ promoters appeals are pending in the Supreme Court.

TOI Goa News

No comments:

Post a Comment