Politics over setting up of a refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Barmer district of Rajasthan has heated up within a day of signing of a MoU between Rajasthan government and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).
At the time of signing of the MoU on Tuesday, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had alleged that the previous Ashok Gehlot government had committed fraud on the people of Rajasthan with the earlier MoU.
"The biggest ever project in the state was ignored to earn electoral gains," he alleged.
The then Gehlot government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HPCL for establishing the refinery-cum petrochemical complex at Barmer district at an estimated cost of over Rs 37,230 crore in March 2013. A JV agreement was signed in July 2013 between HPCL and the state government.
According to the re-negotiated agreement inked on Tuesday, a sum of Rs 43,129 crore will be incurred in setting up the refinery.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, questioned the delay in setting up of the refinery. "It is because of the present Vasundhara Raje government that the cost of setting up of the refinery has gone up by over Rs 6,000 crore.
Obviously, the present state government is responsible for this."
He said the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) from the project is not clear in the MoU. "In our agreement IRR was 15 per cent. If IRR is less than this then the state government will be able to earn less profits as it (state government) has 26 per cent share in the refinery," Gehlot said.
He demanded the government make the re-negotiated MoU and agreement public.
The former Chief Minister said that delay in the project has delayed employment generation and has also delayed revenue earning.
Gehlot said that "Instead of presenting half truths, Dharmendra Pradhan, who is Petroleum Minister, and under whom HPCL comes, should have checked or rather probed both the MoUs so that the actual position becomes clearer."
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