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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

4 sugar mills’ loan guarantee given by last govt cancelled

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:00 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Tuesday reviewed all 34 decisions taken in the last cabinet meeting of the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Devendra Fadnavis.

During the review, the government decided to cancel the decision to give a guarantee to raise capital loans worth ₹135 crore to four co-operative sugar mills controlled by leaders of BJP, an ally of the BJP and a former NCP MP, who defected to BJP. The sugar mills had raised loan guarantees worth ₹310 crore, but the previous government had brought this amount down to ₹135 crore.

Also under review are the revised administrative approvals (RAA) given to five irrigation projects worth ₹6144 crore by the Fadnavis government, said a water resources department official, requesting anonymity. These revised approvals will be scrutinised again on Thursday. “Most of the funds for these projects are coming from the Centre. There was a long discussion on these projects, but the state will not be able to cancel these RAAs,” said the official.

Of them five irrigation projects, four are from Jalgaon, the home district of former BJP minister Girish Mahajan.

The government, the official said, is also reviewing the Marathwada water grid project, which will link two districts of Latur and Osmanabad with an integrated pipe network.

In the four-hour long cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray reviewed the 34 cabinet decisions cleared on September 8. “We took a review of all the decisions taken by the last cabinet. We assessed their current status and the obstacles involved in implementing them,” said Eknath Shinde, a cabinet minister in the government.

Meanwhile, in case of the co-operative sugar mills, the loans need to be procured from National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC), statutory financial lender for cooperatives run by the central government. NCDC provides loans to cooperative units at cheaper interest rates.

“The previous government had put five conditions for the sugar mills for providing loan guarantee and none of these mills could meet those so far. Following this, the cabinet decided to cancel the guarantee,” said a senior official, who did not wish to be named.

The conditions were that these mills should have positive net worth; they should not have any non-performing assets or liabilities of the government; and the NCDC should accept the loan amount as part of the working capital.