Chandigarh, July 27, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded a criminal case be lodged against Industries minister Sunder Sham Arora for causing a loss of Rs 400 crore to the State exchequer by presiding over the sale of 31 acres of prime land of the liquidated JCT Electronics in Mohali to a private realtor.
Asserting that such a huge scam was only possible with the active concurrence of the minister, senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said only a CBI inquiry or an inquiry monitored by the high court could uncover the scandal which was an open and shut case of corruption.
He said besides the minister, senior officers who had committed criminal negligence should also be proceeded against immediately. He demanded chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh take the first step in arriving at the truth in the case by sacking Industries minister Sundar Sham Arora immediately.
Giving details, Mr Bikram Majithia said the PSIEC did not stake claim to Rs 161 crore unearned profit which was to be paid to it upon sale of the property. He said PSIEC agreed to sell the lease land at a reduced cost of Rs 90.56 crore of which the Corporation would get only fifty per cent that is Rs 45 crore.
Stating that PSIEC did not adopt the correct procedure for liquidating JCT Electronics, Mr Majithia said it was shocking that a private lawyer was engaged by the Corporation in order to get a tailor made recommendation suitable to the Industry minister’s cronies. He said the PSIEC went ahead and even recommended that the government accept the recommendations of the lawyer even when its parent department – Punjab Infotech objected to the sale.
Mr Majithia said PSIEC rode roughshod over all procedures in its hurry to offload the property and did not even take approval from the finance department. He said the scale of corruption could be measured from the fact that against a market price of Rs 30,000 per square yard, PSIEC recommended offloading of the JCT Electronics lease at the rate of Rs 5,000 per square yard.
The SAD leader said the PSIEC even gave the entire issue an emergent colour warranting immediate action by stating that it was in the interest of the financial corporation to accept the deal offered by GRG Developers. He said this was done despite the red flag raised by Punjab Infotech which did not give its approval and even suggested the matter be referred for legal opinion by the State government. “Punjab Infotech also suggested that the view of the finance department be taken but even this suggestion was ignored”.
Mr Majithia said the very fact that the decision to offload the lease was taken in the absence of senior officials who were on leave during this period made it clear that PSIEC was under pressure from the Industries minister. He demanded the probe into the case also examine the pressure brought upon the Board of Directors of PSIEC to approve the proposal in violation of established government practices.