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?Scrap pact with REL?

THE UP Congress today demanded scrapping of the State Support Agreement with the Reliance Energy Limited (REL) for establishment of gas-based power plant in Dadri. The Congress said that the pact instead was ?state surrender agreement?, and was against the interest of the people. However, the party said that the agreement could be acceptable only if, it was thoroughly amended.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 01:18 IST

THE UP Congress today demanded scrapping of the State Support Agreement with the Reliance Energy Limited (REL) for establishment of gas-based power plant in Dadri. The Congress said that the pact instead was “state surrender agreement”, and was against the interest of the people. However, the party said that the agreement could be acceptable only if, it was thoroughly amended.
Addressing newsmen here on Sunday, UPCC president Salman Khurshid said that the party was not opposed to more power generation in the State, but the agreement should be transparent favouring the State’s interest. Releasing excerpts of the agreement, which was signed in June 2004, Khurshid said that Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was misleading the people, saying that power would be available within three years. The agreement stated: “The company agrees to make best efforts to commence operation within seven years of signing of this agreement”. Thus, there was no possibility of production before 2011, the Congress leader said.

He said that since the agreement was heavily in favour of the REL, the State Government would in no way benefit from the project. He said that there was thus need to amend the clauses with transparency. Rebutting the charge of the chief minister that Congress-led UPA government had delayed the project, Khurshid said that the Centre was not at all a party to the agreement.

He said there was no need to provide 2500 acres of prime land to the REL, as the project requirement was much less then that. He said that the REL had agreed to provide only 40 per cent power of the total generation to the State. He said that the land was handed over to the company as per its diktat. Khurshid said that the State Government had also incurred huge expenses in providing infrastructures around the project.

He also assailed the government for tax exemption to the REL. He said since the agreement was “one-sided and highly objectionable”, a confidentiality clause was inserted to stop access of the people to the document.