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Getting back SEZ lands essential to set up industries in Goa: BJP

Panaji: The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Tuesday, said that it was more important for the Manohar Parrikar government to get back the possession of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) lands from the seven companies, then bringing to book the Congress leaders, responsible for the SEZ scam.

The BJP also maintained that with the mining operations in the state closed down and tourism industry oversaturated, getting back the SEZ lands was essential to set up industries in Goa.

Coming out with this statement, the chairman of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation, Glenn Ticlo admitted that prima facie, there is a big scam on the part of Congress leaders as regards allotment of land to the seven companies, when the state SEZ policy did not even exist.

He also said that during the Congress regime in Goa, in the year 2006, altogether 38.4 lakh square metres of land was allotted to the promoters of these companies at a throwaway price.

It may be recalled that last month, the Parrikar Cabinet decided to withdraw anti-corruption cases against three senior Congress leaders namely Pratapsingh Rane, Luizinho Faleiro and Chandrakant Kavlekar.

The Cabinet also decided to seek out-of-court settlement with the SEZ promoters by paying them Rs 256 crore, including interest, and getting back the possession of the allotted lands.

Informing that the price of these lands has now increased to Rs 500 crore, the GIDC chairman said that the government is not using the public money to get back these lands, but paying the money earlier received from the respective SEZ promoters towards these lands, and the interest earned on the particular amount.

Ticlo also informed that the GIDC is receiving a number of requests for lands to set up industries, but the corporation is currently carrying out a survey of all its lands.

“We expect the survey to be complete in two months time, after which the GIDC would start the allotment of these lands,” he informed.

The GIDC chairman also condemned the statement of the state Congress president, who called the decision of government to pay Rs 256.6 crore, including the interest payment of Rs 123.5 crore to the promoters as a scam.

Chodankar had also stated that at a time when related case before the Supreme Court is in final stages, the government should have waited for the verdict. [NT]

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