Probe the sale of Nangal’s multi-crore PACL industry at throwaway prices: AAP
Chandigarh, December 31: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has condemned the sale of state-owned Punjab Alkalies Chemicals Limited (PACL) in Nangal by the Punjab government at rock bottom prices and stated that it was another step of establishing corporate houses in the state. In a press statement issued from the party headquarters on Thursday, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Legislative Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema and Ropar district president advocate Dinesh Chadha demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter. They said that the previous Badal government had taken loans by mortgaging a number of government offices and now the Captain Amarinder Singh-led state government had even gone further and started selling them to fill the houses of their loved ones.
The AAP leaders said that the total cost of PACL was fixed at Rs 120 crores by the government, but selling its share for mere Rs 40 crores points to a big scam, as the government rates for land in the area was much higher. They said that PACL had a total of more than 88 acres (14,080 marlas) of land, which was to be sold according to ‘marlas’ and the price of land in the area was not less than Rs 2.5 lakh per marla. Therefore, the minimum cost of land was about Rs 350 crores. “Surprisingly, the government has spent over Rs 100 crores on the renovation of this factory some time ago and selling it after that in a few days, points to a scandal with the involvement of the minister,” they said. The leaders said that besides the land, the price of the factory’s machinery was separate, but it had not been added to any account. “The annual profit of this factory in 2018-19 was Rs 55 crores and caustic soda made there is also very expensive and established as a good brand in the market. In such circumstances, the government selling its stake is beyond comprehension,” they added.
Lashing out on the claims made by Industries Minister Sunder Sham Arora of making money by selling government stake in the industry and describing it as his government’s achievement, the AAP leaders said that on one hand Congress was destroying the government and cooperative sectors and on the other hand was pretending to be benevolent to the farmers and common man. They said that the matter should be thoroughly investigated and action should be taken against Minister Sunder Sham Arora for his involvement in it. Also, the truck owners, operators and other businesses in Nangal, which were already reeling from the recession, had been hit hard by the government’s decision, the leaders added.