‘MoUs signed with Emirate of Ras al Khaimah and Jindal South West Holdings not in interest of State’

The Petitions Committee of the Legislative Assembly has recommended scrapping of the memorandum of understanding entered into by the State government for bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam district with the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah (AnRAK) and Jindal South West Holdings Limited.

The committee headed by Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka held elaborate discussions on the lapses in the MoUs on Tuesday.

The members were unanimous in seeking cancellation of the MoUs claiming that they were not in the interest of the State and would immensely benefit the two firms.

MoUs signed by YSR

The then Congress government headed by late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had entered into the MoUs for establishment of value added alumina plant and an industry with an estimated Rs. 9,000 crore. Accordingly, 1,212 hectares of forestland, predominantly in the agency areas, was alienated for prospecting and mining.

Discussions held

The issue had come under scrutiny ever since Union Minister Kishore Chandra Deo addressed a letter to the Centre recommending cancellation of the MoUs as they would affect the interests of tribals. The committee held discussions on the issue in response to a petition filed by former legislator Ch. Ramesh through Telugu Desam MLA A. Revanth Reddy.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators -- P. Keshav and R. Chandrasekhar Reddy -- alleged that there were several shortcomings in the MoUs. “While the mining project will yield profits to the tune of Rs. 1,200 a tonne, the MoU stipulated that the APMDC would be paid Rs. 170 a tonne.

“Giving the volume of aluminium present, the agreement will translate into huge profits for the two companies,” Mr. Keshav said.