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Odisha govt ignored its own PSUs to favour industries !

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, June 24:

In its eagerness to bestow undeserved favours to industries, the Odisha government has sacrificed the interests of its own PSUs, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in the Assembly yesterday has revealed.

Comptroller-and-Auditor-of-General-CAG

In its report, the CAG has pointed out that the government has arbitrarily allocated land to GMR Energy Ltd at Kamalanga village in Dhenkanal District to set up a power project ignoring the claim of state PSU Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC).

Three promoters – KVK Nilachal Power Private Limited, GMR Energy Limited and a joint venture project of OHPC – had applied for setting up a power project at Kamalanga village.

As per the instructions of the high level clearance agency (HLCA) in May 2006, the Energy secretary had visited the proposed site. After physical inspection along with authorities of Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the secretary had strongly recommended permission in favour of the OHPC joint venture due to its excellent suitability for the project.

The proposal was, however, shot down by the Odisha government which stated that the land had already been committed to GMR Energy Limited.

“This was incorrect as the land at Kamalanga was not committed to GMR Energy Limited as revealed from the MoU signed with the government on 9 June 2006. However, the site was allotted (January 2007) to GMR Energy Limited, which was indicative of arbitrariness in allotment and extension of undue favour to GMR Energy Limited by accommodating the interest of private industries, compared to that of a Public Sector Undertaking,” said the report of CAG.

In its response to the audit agency, the Energy Department had  stated in March 2013 that the Kamalanga site was allotted to GMR Energy Limited as their application for the project was cleared by the state level single window clearing authority (SLSWCA) first considering their project preparedness.

The CAG report, however, rubbished the state government’s explanation, saying; “The reply is not acceptable as HLCA, while approving the proposal of GMR, authorised the Secretary, Energy Department to finalise the exact location. The government, while approving the site at Kamalanga in favour of GMR, did not assign any reason.”