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Sale of land to JSW Steel; Cong leader writes to home minister

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
: Senior Congress leader H K Patil, who has consistently been against sale of 3,667 acres of land to JSW Steel, Saturday wrote to Karnataka home minister M B Patil, to deliberate on his objections before submitting his recommendations to the state government.
The Home Minister heads the four member cabinet sub-committee constituted by the government on June 26 to examine the proposal on sale of the land to JSW Steel at Ballari and make a suitable recommendation.
In the letter, which he shared on his social media page, the congress leader insisted on an industrial policy, transparency and mines and mineral policy for allotting land to big industries.
He pointed out that JSW has been accused of illegal mining and it owed Rs 2,000 crore, including interest, to state state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited.
To support his claim, he has cited objections filed by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Karnataka Legislative Committees estimate committee's report.
Patil expressed concern over the sale of land to JSW Steel at Ballari at a 'throwaway price' of Rs 1.5 lakh per acre when there were so many dues were pending.
He had earlier written to industries minister K J George and chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, asking them not to sell the land in Ballari district to JSW Steel.
The cabinet had recently decided to convert lease of the land into sale, in accordance with the initial agreement.
However, amid a row over the decision that drew flak from various quarters, also BJP and within, it again discussed the issue on June 14 and referred it to a cabinet sub-committee.
The BJP had held a two day round the clock sit in, accusing the government of selling the land to the company at a throwaway price (Rs 1.22-1.50 lakh per acre).
State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa had even accused the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition of getting "kickbacks" for the sale of land.
Amid the row, JSW Steel chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal had said the firm never does anything "illegal" or "disadvantage" to the people of Karnataka.

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First Published: Jun 29 2019 | 9:20 PM IST

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