Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Tuesday refuted Aam Admi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal's charge that it favoured certain industrial groups in the state.
"The charges levelled by Kejriwal are baseless and aimed at maligning the reputation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi," government spokesperson and Minister of State for Energy, Saurabh Patel said.
"The charge that the state government favoured Adani group while purchasing power is not true. Power was purchased from the Adani Group after inviting bids and Adani was the lowest bidder," Patel said.
Regarding the land given to the Adanis, Patel said, "The government has not given any farm land to Adanis. The land which was given in Kutch was wasteland. The charge that the land was given at Re 1 is false as it was given on a lease for 30 years on BOT basis and every year the state government gets rent on it".
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had alleged in New Delhi that Modi favoured Gujarat-based business house Adani Group on power purchase and land allotment besides giving gas fields worth Rs 20,000 crore to private companies for "free".
On the gas deal with a foreign firm GeoGlobal Resourcing, Patel said, "GSPC (Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation) had informed the Director General, Hydrocarbons in 2010 that the deal with GeoGlobal was cancelled and they did not have 10 per cent participating interest anymore in the oil exploration of the Krishna Godavari Basin Deendayal Block."
It was said earlier that "The Modi regime gave away a 10 percent participating stake in an expansive gas field it had won in a bidding process to a company named GeoGlobal Resources that existed only on paper. The company, incorporated in Barbados, had a capital of just $64," reported Tehelka. The GSPC has suffered a loss of interest running into hundreds of crores of rupees by agreeing to contribute GeoGlobal’s share of 10 percent to the venture fund.
"As there was no commercial production so far from KG-OSN-2001/3 gas block, there was no question of giving any benefits to that company," Patel said.
However, the Gujarat Government justified deal (loss) on the sole ground that GeoGlobal was a technical expert and had helped the government in preparing the geological model for gas exploration. But in its latest report, the CAG has pointed out that GeoGlobal’s technical assistance has been so deficient that GSPC had to hire another technical expert to revise the geological model from scratch which took Rs 2.64 crore as compared to 10 percent stake worth millions of dollar by GeoGlobal. The so-called technical expertise provided by GeoGlobal and its promoter Roy has now been described as sub-standard, misleading and deficient by the CAG. Besides, the 10 percent stake, GSPC also paid hefty consultation fees to Roy for his technical assistance.
About allotment of plots to MPs and MLAs in Gandhinagar, Patel said, "the policy of allotment of plots to MPs and MLAs was initiated by the earlier Congress governments and it was discontinued by the Modi government five years back." (with PTI inputs)