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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

Jagan govt defends cancellation of Lulu Group venture in Vizag, Naidu apologises to firm

Reacting to media reports about Lulu Group having decided not to invest in Andhra Pradesh again, state industries minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy said the government had not received any such official letter from the firm.

south Updated: Nov 22, 2019 11:11 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday defended the cancellation of land allotment to the UAE-based conglomerate Lulu Group International to build an international convention centre in Visakhapatnam.
The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday defended the cancellation of land allotment to the UAE-based conglomerate Lulu Group International to build an international convention centre in Visakhapatnam. (ANI File Photo)
         

The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday defended the cancellation of land allotment to the UAE-based conglomerate Lulu Group International to build an international convention centre in Visakhapatnam, and said that the project was in violation of norms.

On the other hand, former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu apologised to the Lulu Group on behalf of the people for the cancellation of the project.

State industries minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy told reporters in Amaravati that the project was cancelled because of a dispute over the land on which the centre was to be constructed and that the project also violated environmental norms.

“Moreover, there was only a single bid for the project from the Lulu Group and the standing guidelines clearly state that a single bid should not be accepted,” he said.

Reacting to media reports about Lulu Group having decided not to invest in Andhra Pradesh again, Reddy said the government had not received any such official letter from the firm.

“The cancellation of land by the state government is not against the Lulu Group but against the procedure that was followed by the previous government in this regard,” he added.

He pointed out that the Lulu Group had signed an agreement with the TDP government over a year ago. “What has stopped them from starting construction all these days? By now they should have completed eight floors. It clearly shows there is an inherent problem,” he said.

Chandrababu Naidu, however, said that the government led by him had made a lot of effort to bring investments from the Lulu Group to the state. “It took a lot of pitching & incessant follow-up to convince Lulu Group to invest in AP. The seed of growth was sowed. Had it taken shape, Vizag would have gained thousands of jobs that in turn would have boosted the local economy. Alas, it wasn’t to be! #LuluSaysByeByeAP,” Naidu tweeted.

“With @ysjagan’s foolish decision, all efforts have been washed away. Such actions are destroying the investment climate & future of youngsters in AP. I express my deep regret to Lulu Group on behalf of the people of AP, more particularly people of Vizag #LuluSaysByeByeAP,” he said in another tweet.