No irregularities in awarding projects to Maytas: YSR

January 11th, 2009 - 7:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 11 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government Sunday denied there were any irregularities in awarding contracts for various infrastructure projects to Maytas Infra, the company promoted by the family of disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers.Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, however, announced that the government would review all the projects given to Maytas in the wake of massive fraud in Satyam.

He told a news conference that he had directed the chief secretary to look into all the projects to find out if the company and its management were in a position to take up the works.

The state government had awarded infrastructure projects worth Rs.300 billion (Rs.30,000 crore or $6.24 billion) to Maytas during the last four years. These include the Rs.122 billion Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, the Rs.15.9 billion all-weather deep water port at Machilipatnam and various irrigation works worth Rs.160 billion.

The chief minister clarified that almost all the projects including the Metro Rail and the Machilipatnam Port were awarded to consortia in which Maytas is also a partner.

“These are all joint venture agreements. Even if one partner fails, others will be jointly and severally (individually) responsible. There is no problem in continuing the ongoing works but we will review the new projects,” he said

“Interests of the works have to be protected. If Maytas or consortia can’t do these works and if there are clouds over Maytas, we have to find ways to do them in a transparent and efficient way. We will see how to go about it,” he said when a reporter asked whether the government would scrap the projects.

YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, said there were no problems in irrigation projects. Maytas Infra and joint venture companies were awarded works worth Rs.130 billion in Pranhita-Chevella lift irrigation project. Earlier, they were awarded Rs.30 billion worth of works, of which works worth Rs.17 billion were completed.

On the Metro Rail project, he said, the chief secretary would find out if the consortia, in which Maytas is a major partner, was in a position to achieve financial closure in March as per the concession agreement.

The chief minister said that the project was awarded after global bidding and in a transparent manner. Maytas holds 26 percent equity in the joint venture. The consortia won the bid as it did not take government grant and agreed to pay Rs.300 billion to the government during the 35-year-long concession period.

He also clarified that the ownership of 269 acres of land transferred to the consortia for building railway stations and depots would rest with the government and that it would get back the entire land with property developed on it after the 35-year period.

“We are not aware of those details. We are looking into it,” he said on allotment of government land to Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties for various projects in Hyderabad and other parts of Andhra Pradesh.

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