Maharashtra denies giving concessions to Videocon Group

August 8th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  


Mumbai, Aug 8 (IANS) Denying allegations by Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, the Maharashtra government Friday categorically stated that the Videocon Group had not been given 100 hectares of prime land at throwaway price or offered any major concessions. In a statement, the state government said that the City & Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) would participate in the proposed Rs.80 billion joint venture with Videocon Group to produce 100 million LCD-TFT pieces. The plant would come up on CIDCO’s land of around 100 hectares in Navi Mumbai.

The land, which is completely undeveloped, would require an investment of Rs.1.5 billion to provide necessary infrastructure and would be sold over a period of time in phases.

Accordingly, as per planning norms, the actual saleable land would be around 55 hectares since the rest would be used for setting up the necessary infrastructure, the statement pointed out.

CIDCO has calculated the land value at around Rs.7.9 billion in phases.

Explaining the sale of land in the nearby zones, it said that the land given to the Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ) was at Rs.6.40 million per hectare five years ago.

The land that is proposed to be given for the joint venture CIDCO-Videocon Group will be at Rs.3 billion per hectare, which is five times more than the land sold to NMSEZ.

Dismissing contentions by opponents to the project, it said there was no “undervaluation” of the land to be used for the joint venture.

The government also refuted allegations that any major concessions have been offered to Videocon Group, as alleged by the opponents.

It said that the project was in the interest of the state as it has already lost out four major investment projects worth Rs.60.2 billion since 2005 with an employment potential for nearly 40,000 people.

They are: Nokia (Rs.5.5 billion), Hero-Daimler (Rs.43.7 billion), Honda Motors (Rs.7.5 billion) and Thissar-Krupp (Rs.3.5 billion).

The statement concluded by saying that instead of selling the bulk of undeveloped tracts for residential or commercial users, CIDCO found it proper to offer it for and participate in the form of equity in a prestigious cutting edge technology project with multifold returns on investments.

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