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Tribune Impact
Decision on land to liquor baron deferred
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23
The high-powered off-the-Shelf allotment committee of the Punjab Government today deferred a decision on the allotment of 50 acres of land to A.B. Motions Private Limited, a company belonging to liquor baron Ponty Chadha.

Mr Jai Singh Gill, Chief Secretary and Chairman of the Committee, said.

Mr S.C. Aggarwal, Secretary, Industries, said the item came up for discussion. “It was decided to seek some clarifications before the item is taken up at the next meeting, said Mr Aggarwal, revealing that the reports appearing in The Tribune were also discussed.

The Punjab Government had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with A.B. Motions Private Limited last month, saying that the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) would be requested to allot 50 acres of land over five years at the Mohali Focal Point during which the company would invest Rs 100 crores in four multiplex/shopping mall projects, including an integrated mix-use industrial park at SAS Nagar. The government also agreed to provide some concessions, including 100 per cent exemption on payment of entertainment tax for 10 years and reducing the minimum investment on individual projects from Rs 20 crore to Rs 10 crore.

Mr Gurdeep Singh (Ponty) Chadha maintained that he was not seeking any favour from the government and was demanding only what had been promised in the 1993 and the 2003 Industrial Policies of the state.

The proposal had raised an outcry and the SAD demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

Sources reveal the case was discussed at length at today’s meeting and it was decided to seek clarifications not only from the departments concerned but also the promoter as none of the clauses in the agreement bound the latter for promising jobs to locals or fixing any deadline for developing 50 per cent of the land meant for new industrial units.

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