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Yogi govt cancels 2012 allotment of 72 industrial plots to minister Rakesh Sachan, orders probe

Initial report found procedural lapses in allotment done on May 11, 2012. These 72 plots are now open for allotment to the public, says joint commissioner industries.

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Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has cancelled the allotment of 72 industrial plots to MSME minister Rakesh Sachan in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur which were lying idle over a decade.

It also ordered an inquiry Tuesday to check “procedural lapses” of the officials involved in the process of land allotment.

ThePrint had reported Sunday that 72 industrial plots at two industrial estates in Chakhana and Sudhwapur areas were allotted to Sachan when he was a Samajwadi Party (SP) MP from Fatehpur in 2012-13 during the SP rule.

Sachan is expected to issue a statement in the Uttar Pradesh assembly on Wednesday. “A statement will be issued on the matter in the Vidhan Sabha tomorrow. Nothing will be said before that,” he told ThePrint on Tuesday.

In its letter dated 11 February, Laghu Udyog Bharati’s Fatehpur unit president Satyendra Singh drew the attention of UP commissioner and director (industries) and the Fatehpur district magistrate to how no industrial units were set up on any of these plots.

Laghu Udyog Bharati is a pan-India not-for-profit organisation working for the issues of the micro and small industries since 1994.

Singh told ThePrint that neither a single rupee was paid as fee nor any lease deed was signed even after a decade after the allotment was done.

Six months back, he had flagged these anomalies at a meeting of the Udyog Bandhu (UP government agency to help entrepreneurs invest) before DM Shruti Sharma and the ADM (finance). Subsequently, Sharma directed general manager (District Industries Centre) Anjaneesh Kumar Singh to probe these allegations.

While there was a little movement on that front, Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA) CEO Mayur Maheshwari directed a two-member inquiry panel to probe the alleged irregularities in allotments last week after it received wide coverage in the media. Maheshwari also holds the charge of commissioner and director (industries).

“The committee comprised deputy commissioner (industries) Ajay Chaurasia and assistant commissioner Sandhya who submitted a report which found procedural lapses in the allotment process. It was found that the allotment was done on May 11, 2012,” a senior UP government official told ThePrint.

Subsequently, joint commissioner industries Sarveshwar Shukla said that the order for cancellation of the allotments was issued Tuesday and that the plots are “now open for allotment to the public.”

“Basically, the committee found procedural lapses due to which the allotment was cancelled… Procedural lapses were found on the part of the officials from the Fatehpur district industries centre (DIC) involved in the process at that time. A department inquiry has been constituted to probe their role,” he told ThePrint.

No money was submitted against the allotment of the 72 plots made in 2012, Shukla said.

Sources in the UP government said that lapses were noticed in the role of five officials of the Fatehpur DIC and that the Prayagraj joint commissioner (industries) was tasked with conducting an inquiry within 15 days.

Shukla refused to give details of officials under scanner, saying that the inquiry officer would reveal the names after the inquiry was completed. “This is all. Full stop. No need to stretch it further,” he told ThePrint. Sources in the MSME department said that the responsibility should be fixed on all officials involved.  

(Edited by Tony Rai)

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