Odisha opposition wants CBI probe into land allotment

Bhubaneshwar : The opposition parties in Odisha Tuesday demanded a probe by the CBI after an audit agency exposed large scale irregularities in the allotment of land to industries in the state.

“The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report indicated that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government is for influential people. Only a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry can unearth more information,” Congress member and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Narasingha Mishra told reporters.

Support TwoCircles

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislature party spokesman Basanta Panda said it has become clear from the report that the state government had an “unholy alliance” with some industries.

“The state government must order a probe and punish those who are involved,” he said.

The CAG report, which was presented in the assembly Monday rapped state government agencies for favouring some industries.

“Performance audit of acquisition and allotment of land for industrial purpose by the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for the period 2001-12 revealed several systemic deficiencies,” the CAG said in its report.

According to it, the state-owned IDCO issued no objection certificate to 12 private companies to avail loans worth more than Rs.52,000 crore from financial institutions by mortgaging land the government provided on lease.

The CAG also rapped the state government for allotting hundreds of acres of forest land for industrial usage, violating forest laws.

The state government said the report would be placed before the public accounts committee in the assembly. The government will take steps on the committee’s recommendation.