CAG says Orissa extended ‘undue’ benefits to Posco-India

[Also see Irregularities Connected with the POSCO Project]

Firm was extended undue benefit in allotment of land, charging of premium at a reduced rate

Bhubaneswar: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found Orissa government of extending undue benefits to South Korean steel major Posco in allotment of a piece of land in the state capital.

“The company was extended undue benefit in allotment of land disregarding zonal regulation and charging of premium at a reduced rate,” the CAG in its latest report tabled in the assembly on Saturday said.

The CAG observation was made based on the performance audit on the land allotments by the state government’s general administration department headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The auditor has come across widespread irregularities in land allotments.

The CAG report said that the country arm of South Korean steel major Posco-India had applied for allotment of a plot measuring 12,000 square feet for its chairman-cum-managing director’s (CMD) residence-cum-guest house in 2006.

However, later it enhanced the requirement twice to 25,000 sq.ft. in April 2007 and later 2 acres for the same purpose.

“Though the same area was earmarked in the Comprehensive Development Plan of the Bhubaneswar city for commercial use, the company was allotted 1.7 acres land in January 2008 at a premium of Rs 25 lakh per acre against prevalent market value of the land of Rs 64 lakh per acre resulting in a loss of Rs66 lakhs to the state government,“ the CAG has observed.

The CAG report also observed that the land was lying vacant till June 2012. “The company, thus, was extended undue benefit in allotment of land disregarding zonal regulation and charging of premium at a reduced rate,” the CAG said in its report.

[Source — Livemint]


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