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Haryana govt to take back SEZ land from Reliance Industries

The Haryana cabinet on Friday approved a proposal for taking back 1,383.68 acres of land from Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, meant for setting up of the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) model special economic zone (SEZ) in the country.

Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told media after the cabinet meeting that the government had decided to take back the land which had been given to a Reliance Industries subsidiary, Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL) through the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC).

The SEZ, which was to be spread across 25,000 acres in Haryana’s Gurgaon and Jhajjar districts, close to national capital New Delhi, had been announced in June 2006 with great fanfare by the Hooda government. Mukesh Ambani had specially flown down to Chandigarh for the agreement signing in December 2006.

Hooda said the Haryana government will pay Reliance Industries Rs.343.51 crore for the land being taken back. The land was acquired by the state government and given to the RHSL through HSIIDC. The rest of the land was to be acquired by RHSL on its own.

The SEZ project became economically unviable due to mid-term corrections in the SEZ policy by the central government, especially capping the SEZ land at 12,500 acres, withdrawal of tax holiday, slowdown in global economy and high land prices making acquisition difficult.

The RHSL had in January 2012 offered to return the land to the Haryana government and had sought a refund of Rs.1,172 crore.

Hooda said the land would not be returned to farmers from whom it was acquired for a specific purpose and the global city scheme will now come up there.

‘The Haryana government will take back the land from Reliance and a scheme of a global city shall be implemented on the same land,’ he said. 

‘This will be part of the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor. It will have exhibition grounds, convention centres, innovation and knowledge industries and other facilities that will be set up there. It will be a major economic centre,’ he said.

‘The land is in our (government) possession. Reliance demanded Rs.1,172 crore from the government. We have agreed to give them only Rs.343 crore,’ Hooda said.

The HSIIDC and Reliance Ventures Limited (RVL), a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, had entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement on June 19, 2006. 

HSIIDC had transferred an area of about 1,383.68 acres at village Garhi Harsaru to the special purpose vehicle floated by HSIIDC and RVL for implementing the project - Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL) - for a consideration price of about Rs.399.85 crore.

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