Gujarat Minister Saurabh Patel’s reply to Arvind Kejriwal’s “baseless allegations”


 

Ahmedabad, 4 December 2012

Gujarat minister of state for Energy and Industry Shri Saurabh Patel today termed Delhi based Aam Adami Party’s leader Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations as bogus and baseless.

 

Patel said Kejriwal has made these allegation with motive to defame Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

 

He said Arvind Kejriwal’s name has been added to the list of those who are not able to tolerate the love and people’s support being received by Narendra Modi during the assembly election.

Patel said not a single allegation can last against Narendra Modi because even in past Congress party had made such types of false allegations but six crore people of Gujarat and others are not ready to believe, because in last 11 years of Modi’s Gujarat experience, people have experienced Modi government’s clear intentions, transparent policies, development and good governance.

Shri Patel said, “the allegations about financial benefits to Adani group company are baseless. Adani Group has been given 1700 ha land for development of port and related works on 30 years lease on BOT basis. Every year rent is charged, and after 30 years this land would be a developed land and prices worth crores would  return to state government.”

“Another 500 ha land was allotted to set up a railway line so that the port could be connected to north India, and it is this decision which has resulted into 250 million cargo transport through this port, and 33,000 crore custom duty income to central government.”

“The government of India has approved 10,000 ha land for Adani SEZ, of which only 5590 ha land has been allotted. Rest of the land will be allotted in future is need arises, but its continuously growing prices will be earned by the Gujarat government. Thus the state has protected its future financial gain.”

“Gujarat has provision of transparent land allotment system, and policy in place to decide the land prices. Even Supreme Court has approved and admired state government’s transparent procedure on land allocation.”

“In past, Congress government had allotted lands to industries at throwaway prices. Shankarsinh Vaghela had allotted 33 lakh square meter land at a price of Re.1 to industries. In one case, then Chief Minister had extended 1.50 lakh square meter land allotment proposal to 3 lakh square meter. While the present Chief Minister has not allotted the land at price as low as Re.1 to anybody.”

“The land allotted to Adani group is non-productive, non-agriculture, padtar land and large part of that land comes under submerged area of sea. It is the central government that has given all permissions. Adani group has developed the land to use it. Present government has not acquired any land from farmers to allot it to this company. Not only this but the state government has charged 25 times higher rates compare to previous governments while allotting the land. Thus the allegations of allotting land to Adani in Kutch at Rs 300 per square meter price are baseless.”

“PPA agreement with Adani on purchase of power from Adani Energy Power was inked in February, 2007 and as per the agreement, Adani was to be paid Rs 2.35 paise per unit for power. This was the lowest rate in entire country, and Gujarat Electricity Board had decided to purchase 1000 MW power through competitive tender bid in which Adani Power had quoted the lowest price to provide power. Adani Power plant purchases imported coal and supplies power to Gujarat government for Rs 2.35 paise per unit. As this rate was not affordable to Adani, the company had gone to Gujarat Electricity Regular Commission(GERC) for rate hike nod, but GERC had rejected Adani’s application. Adani went to tribunal in appeal where again its plea was rejected. Other than this, as per one more PPA agreement, electricity is purchased from Adani at competitive lowest price of Rs 2.89 per unit. Thus the allegations against Narendra Modi on power purchase from Adani can not last on any basis.”

Reacting to Kejriwal’s allegations on plot allotment to Member of parliament and MLAs in Gandhinagar, Shri Saurabh Patel said this policy exists in the state for a long time when Congress was ruling the state. “In last five years, Narendra Modi has stopped allotting plots to MPs and MLAs, and wherever such land has been allotted at concessional prices, he has stopped selling of such land. Even a public interest litigation has been filed against such a decision in the Supreme Court.”

Shri Saurabh Patel said, “GSPC’s agreements with Geo-Global and Jubilant Enpro company were approved by Government of India’s Director General of Hydro carbon and Petroleum ministry. Even after this, the agreement has been terminated and the government of India has been asked time and again to do proper procedure on this. But the central government has not reacted to it. Thus there’s no question of giving any benefit to Geo Global or Jubilant.”

Shri Patel challenged the allegations and said, “Those lying and making such allegations will be publicly challenged and given reply after the election.”

Also read: Geoglobal:Parliament adjourned, Gujarat govt issues a statement

Adani group issues a statement

Meanwhile, Adani group has denied the allegations of Kejriwal with following statement:

Adani Group denies all allegations/statements made by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and his team against Adani Group at the Press conference today.

The land for Special Economic Zone at Mundra was allotted following the process of law. The allegation related to coal supply by GMDC is baseless. Till date we have not received any coal from GMDC.

These baseless allegations seem to be motivated and lack deeper understanding of the matter. They do not merit further response.

Similar statement issued by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman (National spokesperson of BJP)

The BJP completely rejects the baseless allegations made during a press conference by Shri Arvind Kejariwal of the Aam Admi Party on various issues related to the Gujarat government in general and Shri Narendra Modi in particular. Most issues raised by Shri Kejriwal have been investigated by the Shri M.B. Shah Commission. This Commission which was set up under the Commission of Enquiries Act and only recently the Commission has submitted its report and the Cabinet has accepted the report.

Following in the tracks of the Congress Party, on the issue of the GSPC – KG Basin, Shri Kejriwal is also looking for a scandal where one doesn’t exist. Every contract issued or any contract cancelled are done with prior information of the Directorate of Hydro Carbon. So was it done in this matter too. This contract was cancelled in the year 2010. Not a rupee was given out to anyone in this matter.

On land allocation in Gujarat for SEZs, questions have been raised. Gujarat adopts a transparent policy on valuation of land. Every allotment goes through an elaborate process before finalisation.

First, a District Evaluation Committee evaluates the land. Then the Chief Town Planner counter checks it at the State head quarters. Then a high level Committee of Secretaries finalise the valuation. After this, a report is sent to the Cabinet for its approval. Even at that stage every effort is made to match the valuation with the market valuation of a neighboring land. In this process the district administration also participates.

Thus there is an elaborate process which oversees such operation. In the year 2011 the Hon. Supreme Court had applauded the transparent process which is in place in Gujarat. The apex Court dismissed a PIL on the allotment of Gauchar lands.

It is of importance to put on record here that land was given away at throw away prices by some earlier governments, sometimes even arbitrarily. Shri Shankar Singh Vagela’s government had given away 33 lakh square meters of land at Re.1/sq mtr. In one instance when the then Finance Minister had tried to give away 1.5 lakh sq mtrs of land at Re 1/sq mtr, the then Chief Minister Shri Vaghela overruled the Finance Minister and enhanced the allocation from 1.5 lakh sq mtrs to 3 lakh sq mtrs. All this without a transparent process of valuation. The process which prevailed then was completely arbitrary. The allotment at Re 1/sq mtr is not a feature under Shri Narendra Modi.

Lands in Kutch given for SEZ are non cultivable, waste land, which get submerged during high tide. Due permission have also been obtained for them under the Coastal Regulatory Zone rules. We wish to assure that no land has been acquired from farmers by the Government of Gujarat for Adani.

Lands given to Adanis for Port and Port back-up are on 30 years lease. Every year the lease rent is changed. After 30 years, this developed land will come back to the Government -ie to the Gujarat Maritime Board.

Lands in Kutch cannot be compared to lands in Gandhinagar, an urban area where land is scarce.

Another issue about allotting lands for residential purpose in Gandhinagar for MPs, MLAs, judges and bureaucrats has been raised by Shri Kejriwal. It is a scheme which has existed in Gujarat from Congress’ days. In the last five years Shri Narendra Modi has stopped giving plots to MLAs and MPs at concessional rates. This matter is sub-judice, in the Gujarat High Court.

Land given to judiciary was a step taken by earlier governments.

Allegations have also been made about power purchasing agreements. A few facts in this regard :

1. The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) signed an agreement with Adani Energy & Power on 02-02-2007.

2. Power was to be bought/supplied at Rs 2.35 per unit.

3. This rate then and even now is the lowest.

4. The rate of Rs 2.35 per unit still stands.

5. For want of environment clearance the coal from Naini coalfield allocated to Gujarat could not serve the purpose.

6. Adanis, because they are importing coal, claimed loss and appealed to the government of Gujarat for raising the price per unit. The Gujarat government refused flatly.

7. Adanis appealed to the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission – GERC. Even they rejected their appeal.

8. Furthermore the Appellate Tribunal, in Delhi, an appeal of Adanis as per the Electricity Act, also rejected their appeal.

So allegations on this count are completely false.

The BJP states firmly that all assumptions and conclusions drawn by Shri Kejriwal are false and baseless. Gujarat is in the process of elections to its legislative assembly. Allegations at this time can only be politically motivated.


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