WB lost 79 cr on Tata land acquisition deal: CAG

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Kolkata, Apr 01: The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Limited (WBIDCL) has incurred a loss of Rs 79 crore and excess expenditure of Rs 2.99 crore towards acquisition of land for Tata Motors at Rs 133.10 crore.

According to the Comptroller and Audior General's report laid in the state Assembly last week, the WBIDCL, a PSU, made the excess expenditure to avoid an interest of Rs 1.44 crore and delayed 'consent awards' of Rs 1.55 crore. It also subsidised the Tata Motors by Rs 76.11 crores on leasing 645.67 acres of land at Singur for 90 years, the report added.

In October 2006 the state government took over 997.11 acres of land worth Rs 133.10 crore from Hoogly district Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) for the proposed small car unit by the Tata's at Singur, leading to strident criticism from the opposition.

However, the total acquisition cost for 1,014.24 acres was estimated at Rs 138.25 crores, including the administrative costs of Rs 12.57 crores and consent award of Rs 7.72 crore under Land acquisition Act 1894.

The report further mentioned that the LAC had refunded Rs 6.90 crore to the WBIDCL, which had purchased 9.34 acres of land directly from land owners at a cost of Rs 3.19 crore, thus putting the total expenditure at Rs 160.60 crores.

The report also found anomalies in the non-production of agreements and documents related to terms and conditions of leasing of land to the Tata's and its vendors.

Besides, injudicious borrowing, irregular payment to land owners beyond statutory provisions and subsiding the lease of land to the Tata's have left the government with a loss of Rs 79 crore, the report pointed out.


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