Sunday, March 30, 2008

CAG indicts WBIDC for excess expenditure on Singur land

Kolkata, Mar 27 The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has indicted West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation for excess expenditure of Rs 2.99 crore on land acquisition for the Tata Motors' small car project at Singur where land acquisition for the project had sparked violent protests.The WBIDC incurred an excess expenditure towards payment of avoidable interest of Rs 1.44 crore and delayed 'consent awards' of Rs 1.55 crore, the CAG report for the year ended March 31, said.Further, it subsidised Tata Motors Limited by Rs 76.11 crore on leasing of 645.67 acres of land at Singur for 90 years, the report said. The CAG report said that of the total 1,006.45 acres acquired by the WBIDC, 70.78 acres were waterbodies and land meant for internal roads, sub-stations etc. With balance 935.67 acres available for leasing out. Till July, 2007, the company had leased out 645.67 acres to Tata Motors Limited and 190.44 acres to its 30 vendors.''It was noticed (April 2007) that the company suffered a loss of Rs 79.10 crore due to injudicious borrowing, irregular payment of 'Consent Awards' to land owners beyond statutory provisions and subsidising the lease of land to Tata Motors Limited,'' it said.The WBIDC, it said, leased (March 2007) 645.67 acres valuing Rs 96.72 crore to Tata Motors for 90 years against annual lease rent of Rs one crore from the first to fifth year and rising over the years to reach Rs 20 crore from the 61st to the 90th year.As per the government directive (February 2006) for long-term leases for 99 years, the lessee should pay 95 per cent of the market value of the land at one-time premium on commencement of the lease and pay annual rent at the rate of 0.3 per cent of the market value of the land.''Accordingly, on the lease of 645.67 acres to the Tata Motors Limited, the Company should have realised premium of Rs 91.88 crore and lease rent of Rs 29 lakh annually''. PTI


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