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Land given to Patanjali faces criticism from Opposition

Nagpur, 09/12/2016: Yuva Swabhiman Party volunteers protest at assembly campus demanding compensation for Orange, Cotton, Paddy crop during winter assembly session at Nagpur. 

Photo: S Sudarshan.

Nagpur, 09/12/2016: Yuva Swabhiman Party volunteers protest at assembly campus demanding compensation for Orange, Cotton, Paddy crop during winter assembly session at Nagpur. 

Photo: S Sudarshan.

NAGPUR: State government’s decision last year to allocate 230 acres of land outside the MIHAN Special Economic Zone in Nagpur to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Industries at a concessional rate has come under fire from the Opposition, which, at the Assembly on Friday, demanded scrapping of the move, and launch of an inquiry in the matter.

The calling attention motion raised by Congress MLC Sharad Ranpise on the issue was reserved for further discussion as the State government failed to provide satisfactory information to queries raised by the Opposition.

“The market price of land outside MIHAN is Rs. 1.16 crore per care which was given to Patanjali at Rs. 25 lakh per acre. It has cost [the] State exchequer Rs. 208 crore,” Mr. Ranpise alleged.

Minister of State for Industries, Madan Yerawar said the land given to Patanjali was undeveloped land without the access road. “That’s why the secretary level committee decided to sell the land at the price of Rs 25 lakh per acre. We had called for tenders thrice and finally only Patanjali responded as a result of which it was awarded to Patanjali,” he said.

Among the conditions put forward by the State government to Patanjali included commencement of construction work for a food park six months within the possession of the land and commencement of production within 18 months, setting up of 5,000 small scale businesses, and giving jobs to 20,000 youth from Vidarbha. The government also made it mandatory to purchase agricultural produce worth Rs. 100 crore from Vidarbha.

Unsatisfied with the government’s reply, Leader of Opposition, Dhananjay Munde asked the rationale behind arriving at the land cost. “How can the tender process which had two companies owned by one person be termed transparent?” he said, demanding scrapping of tender process.

Sanjay Dutt of Congress alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)–led government is returning favours to Baba Ramdev for his help in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Council chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar reserved the motion for further discussion at his chamber.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 5:43:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Land-given-to-Patanjali-faces-criticism-from-Opposition/article16785958.ece