Govt notice to Adani on SEZ

 Gujarat-based Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL) has been issued a show cause notice by the Ministry of Commerce for “distorting” facts regarding its upcoming multi-product SEZ in the state.

The Union of India filed a caveat in the Gujarat High Court informing that the ministry issued the notice to the Adani Group SEZ on June 12.

The ministry has sought explanation from the company within 10 days on why the approval granted to the company should not be cancelled and notification for the SEZ withdrawn with immediate effect.

“It is prima facie apparent that APSEZL has deliberately concealed and falsified material facts which have a direct bearing on the grant of approval and subsequent notification,” the notice said.
“It (company) has also misled this department by furnishing incorrect particulars of land and other related facts, leading to wrongful approval and notification of the land measuring 1840 hectares as an SEZ,” the notice issued by Sanjeet Singh, Director, SEZ, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, said.
The Ministry in a letter dated January 4, 2012 had granted approval to APSEZL for setting up a multi-product SEZ over 1840 hectares at Dhrub village in Mundra taluka in Kutch district, and also notified the SEZ on March 28.

Meanwhile, confirming the receipt of the show cause notice, Head of corporate communications at Adani Group, Devendra Amin said, “We are filing a suitable reply to the Ministry within stipulated time”. APSEZL in its proposal, dated September 23, 2011, seeking approval for setting up the multi-product SEZ on the land admeasuring 1840 hectares, had contended that such land is “contiguous, vacant and there will not be any public thoroughfare through such land”.

However, the examination report filed by Kandla SEZ Development Commissioner nailed discrepancies like the land was not contiguous and is spread over at least 3 separate land parcels, the ministry said.

According to the notice, the portions indicated as having a railway line and a road are in fact passing through the already notified adjacent SEZ which is Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone. Adani in a statement said: “Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd has set up a multi-product SEZ over 6,472 hectares of land at Mundra, which was notified vide notification dated May 27, 2009.”

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