Odisha panchayat election 2017: Dharmendra Pradhan says BJD govt revoked IOC sops due to anger over loss

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Bhubaneswar | Updated: February 26, 2017 9:39:52 PM

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said BJD's anger against BJP for its surge in the Panchayat elections was the reason behind Odisha government's roll back of tax sops to IOCL's Paradip refinery.

The BJP leader pointed out that the agreement between the state government and IOCL with a clause for interest-free credit for 11 years had been signed in 2004 when BJD was in power in Odisha and the UPA at the Centre. (PTI)

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said BJD’s anger against BJP for its surge in the Panchayat elections was the reason behind Odisha government’s roll back of tax sops to IOCL’s Paradip refinery. “The BJD government should not harm the state’s interest by withdrawing interest-free credit for 11 years to IOCL due to its anger against BJP for its surge in Panchayat polls. It will affect flow of investment,” Pradhan told reporters.

Accusing the BJD government of withdrawing the tax sops on flimsy grounds, Pradhan said he could understand BJD’s worries and anger after the impressive show put up by BJP in the recently concluded state Panchayat elections. The move would have an adverse impact on other projects in the state, stalling employment generation and hitting unemployed youths hard, he said.

Also Read: Indian Oil Corporation threatens relook at Rs 52K crore Odisha investment

“Therefore, I will request Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to refrain from causing harm to the state’s interest, mainly of jobless youths,” Pradhan said adding, those in the government have greater responsibilities and results in any election have to be accepted in proper spirit.

The BJP leader pointed out that the agreement between the state government and IOCL with a clause for interest-free credit for 11 years had been signed in 2004 when BJD was in power in Odisha and the UPA at the Centre.

The project was completed only in 2015 due to reasons like delay in land acquisition, cyclones and law and order problems in the area, the Minister said adding, the BJD regime was backtracking from its commitment.

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Refuting the state government’s claim that the capacity of the refinery project was unilaterally increased to 15 mt per year from nine mt per annum, Pradhan said a letter regarding the proposal to raise the capacity had been sent to the state government in 2006.

Also Read: Odisha withdrawing interest-free credit for 11 years to Indian Oil Corporation Limited

The Minister said he had also given details of a host of projects with investments of over Rs 1.25 lakh crore coming up in the state in the petroleum sector to the Chief Minister. Apart from the IOCL refinery, there would be a petro-chemical complex at an investment of over Rs 50,000 crore, strategic oil reserve and pipelines, he said.

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