Cong for scrapping of port MoUs due to `Rs 4 lakh crore` loss
Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress on Wednesday demanded cancellation of all MoUs signed with private developers for setting up ports in Odisha, and projected a loss of about Rs four lakh crore to the state due to several deficiencies in the arrangement.
"We demand scrapping of all the MoUs signed with private developers and action against officials responsible for violating norms laid down in the port policy," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan told reporters outside the House after Speaker cancelled a debate on the port issue.
Alleging that the state government was afraid of a discussion on the port issues, Harichandan said there were deficiencies in all level of implementation of port projects.
Stating that there was no revenue model in the MoUs signed for port project, he said "The CAG has pointed out loss of Rs 10,000 for two ports. If one takes nine ports into consideration, the amount of projected loss would be about Rs four lakh crore," he said.
"Neither independent engineers were engaged to oversee drawing and design and quality parameters, nor financial and operational auditors were engaged by the state government to validate the gross revenue generated and government`s share calculated by the port authorities," Harichandan said quoting the CAG report tabled in the assembly last week.
Criticising the state government for overlooking the law department`s suggestions, he said "The law secretary had categorically said that the port projects should be developed through competitive bidding and not by MoU route."
"I have official documents to prove how senior officers overlooked the suggestions of the law department," Harichandan claimed expressing wonder as to how the major partners were allowed to exit during lock-in-period.
The prime developers in at least three port projects have exited the venture during the lock-in-period, he said.
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