Liquidated firm’s land auction sparks row

Liquidated firm’s land auction sparks row

Sunder Sham Arora

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24

The auction of 31 acres of prime land of liquidated JCT Electronics in Mohali for Rs 90.56 crore to a private realtor has triggered a controversy.

The role of Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) Limited has come under scanner for not staking Rs 161-crore claim as the unearned profit to be paid on the sale of property. It instead agreed to claim Rs 45.28 crore as 50 per cent of the sale value.

State interests protected: Minister

Industries Minister Sunder Sham Arora said the PSIEC Board of Directors and the Department of Industries and Commerce approved the proposal on merit in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract between Punjab Infotech, PSIEC and JCT Electronics. Financial interests of the state and government undertakings were duly protected, he claimed.

Objecting to the corporation accepting Rs 45.28-crore claim despite it filing a revised claim of Rs 161 crore with the official liquidator, the Finance Department in its communication to the Managing Director, PSIEC, has pointed out that the agenda to accept Rs 45.28-crore claim was approved in 293th Board of Directors (BoD) meeting of the corporation on October 21, 2020, despite being pointed out that the matter required to be referred to the Finance Department.

Defending the decision to accept Rs 45.28-crore claim, a government official said the corporation being an unsecured creditor was entitled to payment of its dues under Sections 529A and 530 of the Companies Act.

Officials said after liquidation of JCT, its assets were taken over by Asset Reconstruction Co. (ARCIL) under SARFAESI Act, 2002. Official liquidator ARCIL auctioned the land for Rs 90.58 crore to GRG Developers and Promoters. “Against a current market price of Rs 21,500 per sq yard quoted by the corporation in its claim, plots were being offered by the bidder at Rs 30,000 per sq yard. This means the land cost comes to over Rs 350 crore, whereas it has been auctioned for Rs 90.58 crore,” said Bir Devinder Singh, former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, while demanding a CBI probe into alleged scam.

PSIEC Vice-Chairman Mahesh Kumar Singhal said in the BoD meeting held on October 21, 2020, he had sought advice of the Advocate General and income tax adviser and OSD (Finance) on the issue.

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