India - Rajasthan high court notice to government on Apparel Park project
Dated- 02 Apr , 2012 - India
The Rajasthan High Court has issued a notice to the state government seeking to know what final steps it has taken on the recommendations made by RIICO to resolve the land allotment issue holding up the Apparel Park project at Jagatpura since 2003. Justice Ajay Rastogi has given four weeks time to the industry ministry to respond on the notice.
In a meeting held on February 18, 2011, RIICO referred the recommendations made by its sub-group to the government for a final decision on allotting land to the 133 applicants for the project. The sub-group, among other things, suggested working out afresh the development charges for the project.
Even though the recommendations imposed stringent conditions on the applicants, it is the land rate, which has been at the centre of the delay.
RIICO had invited applications for the project in 2003 fixing land rates at Rs 500 per square metre. Since it couldn't take possession of the land, basing on which it had invited application, the project got delayed. Even after it took physical possession of the land in 2010 with no cost to itself as per an arrangement with the Jaipur Development Authority, the allotment has not been made.
From Rs 500 per square metre, RIICO has proposed to hike rates to as high as Rs 5,500, even though this doesn't find place in the recommendations made to the government.
`RIICO stands to gain Rs 100 crore even if the land is allotted at the original Rs 500 per sq metre,` said Pradeep Chhugani, an applicant and member of Garment Exporters Association of Rajasthan.
To draw the attention of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to their plight, the applicants under Apparel Park Committee had planned an advertising campaign during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in the city. But as the government sources came to know about the move, top political leaders mediated and assured the committee that the land allotment issue will be settled if they drop the advertisement campaign plan.
A meeting between the applicants and industry minister Rajendra Pareek along with government officials involved in the process took place on January 13, 2012.
`We had a meeting but we were only listeners. The minister stuck to the figure of Rs 2,500 per sq metre,` said Chhugani.
The delay is estimated to have cost the state 40,000 jobs, Rs 450 crore investments and Rs 1,200 crore worth of exports.