The Mumbai unit of the Congress has accused chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of causing a loss of Rs220crore to the government by allotting land at throwaway prices to companies of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Anil Ambani at Nagpur
Fadnavis has refuted the allegations, saying land was allotted according to the norms set by a committee of four secretaries and that his government had followed the practice adopted by the previous government.
The Congress Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam alleged on Wednesday that Baba Ramdev’s company, Patanjali, was allotted 230 acres at Rs25 lakh an acre at the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) and Anil Ambani’s firm 111 acres at Rs 57 lakh an acre when the going rate was Rs 1crore an acre as set by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC). The allotment to Ramdev’s company thus caused a loss of Rs170 crore and that to Anil Ambani about Rs50 crore to the state exchequer, Nirupam alleged.
He claimed the MADC had issued an advertisement clarifying that to make up for the loss due to these allotments, it was forced to raise the rate of the land by 15%. Nirupam also said Anil Ambani’s company was yet to pay for the land owing to its dispute with the MADC over development of the airstrip.
Fadnavis, who heads the MADC, which controls the land meant for development near the airport, rubbished the allegations. “Patanjali has bought the land in non-SEZ area and at the zone earmarked for agro processing units at the market price and following the norms set by a committee of four secretaries. Open tenders were called quoting upset price — the lower cap of price of the land — and after the third call, Patanjali was the only bidder to quote more than the upset price and hence the allotment was done as per the Central Vigilance Commission norms. The earlier government too had given concessions to many business houses in MIHAN and 250 hectares is still available without any takers,” Fadnavis said in an SMS reply to HT. “As far as the land allotted to Anil Ambani is concerned, it was allotted as per the rate decided by the previous government in 2010 at Rs60 lakh per acre. The rates were hiked in May 2016 by our government to Rs70 lakh per acre. Still 400 acres is available without takers,” said the chief minister.
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