UP Lokayukta to probe sale of sugar mills

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 06, 2012 12:00 hrs

Lucknow, Nov 6 (IANS) In a significant development, the Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday ordered a Lokayukta probe into what is called here "shady" sale of 21 sugar mills at throw-away prices by the Mayawati government.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday decided that the state Lokayukta would probe the alleged irregularities in the sale of these sugar mills.

The Mayawati government in 2007 decided to privatise 10 operational sugar mills belonging to the Uttar Pradesh State Sugar Corporation Ltd. (UPSSCL) and 11 closed mills belonging to its subsidiary, Uttar Pradesh Rajya Chini Evam Ganna Vikas Nigam Ltd. (UPRCGVNL).

As a consequence of that decision, 21 mills were sold in a phased manner between July 2010 and March 2011.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) later alleged a Rs.1,200-crore scam in the sale of these sugar mills on account of discrepancies in the valuation of machinery and land.

Political opponents of Mayawati had accused the BSP supremo of giving mills to liquor baron Ponty Chadha, known for his proximity to the BSP.

The CAG had alleged that the valuation of land was reduced by up to 30 percent against the price prevailing at the time arrived at by the valuers, leading to a loss of Rs.90 crore in the sale of sugar mills in Saharanpur, Bijnor, Amroha and Bulandshahr.

Losses in terms of stamp duty and in other areas had allegedly bled the exchequer.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) government, soon after being sworn in, in March 2012, said it would hold a probe into the alleged irregularities. It, however, later went soft on Ponty Chaddha amidst rumours of a patch-up between the ruling party and the liquor baron.

Among other things, the state cabinet also decided on implementing the new rice export policy 2012, and construction of a four-lane road between Etawah and Mainpuri.

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