Bhubaneswar, June 28:
Office Bearers of the North Orissa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) and All Industry Associations of Odisha (AIAO) in a joint press conference here today appealed to the Odisha Government and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Bhubaneswar to extend permission to the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to grant land mortgage rights to industries in state.
Th general secretary of the Odisha Industries Federation (OIF) Niranjan Mohanty said it has been widely reported by sections of the media recently that the IDCO, without due authorization, has been granting mortgage rights to industries allowing them to use their leased land as guarantee to secure loans from financial institutions and banks. This apparent discrepancy was pointed out by the CAG in 2012 and ever since, the source of finance for industries has virtually dried up, especially in cases where the mortgage rights were withheld.
Mohanty said the state government has rectified this by way of a cabinet decision and applicant industries are being granted permission by IDCO to mortgage their leased land, thereby ending the logjam of over two years.
On the occasion RN Sarkar, president of Odisha Young Entrepreneurs Association (OYEA) said the allegation against IDCO which grants the right of mortgage to industries to obtain loans in huge figures is unlawfully done is incorrect.
“How the figures assume importance is beyond our understanding since financial institution and banks do their due diligence before sanctioning loans to them,” he asked.
Sarkar said the CAG report has sensationalized the matter and created unnecessary doubts in the mind of the public for no genuine reasons. The report of CAG is not a financial audit report but only a performance audit report. The thought that something illegal is being perpetrated destroys the already poor industrial climate in Odisha, he added.
Sarkar further said if the CAG pointed out a deficiency and it was rectified by departmental notifications and a cabinet approval, the matter should have rested there because the owner of the land has done what was needed. Dragging the issue of mortgage into further controversy would serve no purpose except creating irreparable loss to the industrial development in the state. This apart, it will affect job opportunities and compound the unemployment problem, he predicted.
If any particular industry is found obtaining land illegally then the CAG should investigate it through any authorised probe agency but why should other small and medium scale industries suffer because of this, he asked.