MP govt's decision to give 4 years to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power plant to pay Rs 450 crore dues triggers political controversy
BJP dubs the decision as undermining of state’s financial interest, while Cong defends it saying it’s in line with 2014 Investment Promotion Policy of BJP regime.
BHOPAL: The cabinet committee for investment promotion (CCIP) in Madhya Pradesh has given the Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Power’s Sasan Power Project four years times to pay its Rs 450 crores dues – triggering a political controversy in the Congress-ruled state.
The BJP has attacked the Kamal Nath government terming the CCIP decision as undermining of state’s financial interests.
The ruling Congress, however, has maintained that the CCIP decision has been taken in line with the 2014 investment promotion policy of the previous BJP government in the state.
Importantly, the CCIP has decided to give four years time to Reliance Power’s Sasan Power Project to pay its dues to the tune of Rs 450 crores. Confirming it, the state’s public relations minister PC Sharma, “the four years time has been given to Anil Ambani to pay Rs 450 crores in line with the Kamal Nath government’s policy of rendering concessions to promote investment and industries in the state and render 70% employment to youths of the state in industrial units. Earlier, time of one year was given to the Reliance Power’s Sasan Power Project to pay the dues, which has been extended to four years now.
“Around 65 acres land has also been allocated for the Group’s project in Shivpuri district,” said Sharma.
The CCIP decision gave the BJP the much needed ammo to attack the Kamal Nath government. “The decision to give four years time to the power project to pay its Rs 450 crore dues undermines the state’s financial interest, particularly when CM Kamal Nath often talks about scarcity of funds affecting development in the state. The decision exposes that the present state government is only a pro-industrialist and capitalist regime, which is committed more towards furthering interests of industrialists/capitalists and less towards promoting interests and welfare of poor and unemployed lot,” said ex-minister and Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava.
The ruling Congress, however, defended the decision. “The project commissioned in Singrauli district during 2013 meets 17% to 18% of state’s electricity demand. The Rs 27,000 crore project provides electricity to the state at Rs 1.53 per unit, if the project is allowed to close, then same electricity will have to procured from others at rates between Rs 4-Rs 5 per unit. Supply of electricity to the state from the Sasan Project has saved Rs 10,500 crores of state exchequer since 2013. Also, the CCIP decision is in line with the Investment Promotion Policy of 2014, when BJP government ruled MP,” said Narendra Saluja, senior Congress leader and media convener of CM Kamal Nath.
Importantly, then Congress national president Rahul Gandhi had targeted the same Anil Ambani in his speeches during the 2018 assembly polls in MP as well as 2019 Lok Sabha polls.