No Misuse of IDCO Land by Industries: Min
BHUBANESWAR: Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra on Thursday dismissed the Opposition’s allegation in the Assembly that land provided by the State Government through Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to industrial houses has been misutilised.
Making a statement on the admissibility of an adjournment motion notice on the issue, the Minister maintained that production of steel and aluminium and generation of thermal power has increased manifold because of industrialisation in the State during last decade and land provided through IDCO. IT exports and port capacity have also expanded because of the policy followed by the State Government leading to increase in revenue, he said and added that the industries have helped employment generation.
Stating that many steel and power projects have come up in the State because of the land provided by the Government, the Minister admitted that a few projects have not been able to come up because of lack of infrastructure including land, water and raw materials. Delay in getting mining lease and environment clearance from the Centre has also delayed some projects, he said. IDCO has issued show cause notices to projects which have been delayed and in some cases land given to such companies have been cancelled, the Minister stated.
A joint team comprising officials from IPICOL, IDCO and Government departments concerned is reviewing the progress of units to which the Government provided land. Out of 94 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed by the Government, progress of 50 units have been reviewed by the joint team, he said.
The Minister said of 9462.91 acres of land available in 106 industrial estates managed by IDCO, 7540.5 acres are earmarked for small and medium scale projects. Out of this, 5130.23 acres have been distributed to 4297 small and medium industries, he said and added that 1656 recipients of land have not properly utilised it. Showcause notices have been served on 1260 industries and land provided to 313 have been cancelled, he said. Mishra assured the members that steps are being taken to cancel land given to those industries which have not properly utilised it.
Referring to allegations made by Opposition members on the basis of the CAG report placed in the House on June 14, the Minister said the report will be analysed by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House and steps will be taken as per its recommendation.
The Minister defended mortgage of land provided by IDCO by industrial houses to raise finances for projects. Such a provision exists in many States including Gujarat and Maharashtra, he said and added that this is allowed to attract capital and boost industrialisation.
Earlier, KV Singhdeo (BJP) said the Government has no option left but to act after the expose by the CAG. Though land allotted for industrial purposes have been utilised for residential purpose, the Government has turned a blind eye to it. Besides, while many industrial houses have not utilised land within the stipulated period of three years, IDCO is yet to initiate any action, he alleged and said several industries have raised loans more than the cost of the land provided to them.
Singhdeo asked whether excess land was provided to industrial houses keeping monetary considerations in view for elections.
Bhujbal Majhi (Cong), Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati and his party colleague Nabakishore Das alleged that land alloted for industrial purpose has been misutilised.