PORVORIM: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant today has assured the house to keep the sale deeds of the Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited Limited land at Sancoale until the legal opinion on the issue by Advocate General is tabled to the state government.
Congress MLA Michael Lobo raised the issue of a major land scam by Zuari Agro Chemicals Private Limited at Sancoale.
“I assure the house to keep the sale deeds of the land on hold. The AG and the Law Department will submit their report on this particular issue within a month,” said CM Sawant.
Sawant said that the ZACL sold land to the Goa Housing board years back.
Revenue Minister Babush Monserrate informed the house that he was waiting for a legal opinion on the same issue and that even if they go ahead with sale deeds, ZACL cannot do anything without a sanad.
“We will take action as per law. I have directed collectors not to issue sanads until advocate advice comes,” he said.
Congress MLA Michael Lobo questioned the government whether the land belonging to Sancoale Communidade could be transferable.
“This is the biggest land scam in Goa, wherein the Goa govt has given up on 500 hectares of prime land in Sancoale, which is around 50 lac sq meters,” he said.
He said that the scam is such that despite the Prime Minister’s office asking for a report, the authorities are just dragging their feet. For two years now.
“On a complaint from Narayan Naik, the PMO asked for the report in October 2020 from Go chief secretary. The complainant had sais that M/s.Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd & Zuari Group of Companies have started misusing Sancoale Comunidade Land (Common Gaonkaries Land) for their private profit by converting the use of Land from Fertilizer to Sale / Transfer / Exchange / Sublease / Real Estate etc.,” he said.
He said, “This is a huge scam, and there should be written instructions to the sub-registrar, and the sale deeds should be stopped,” said Lobo.
Lobo questioned, “is this land transferable? Can Zuari sell the factory along with property to M/s Paradeep, Phosphates which belongs to Sancoale communidade?”
He also questioned what benefit is the State of Goa getting from this sale of 50 lakh sq mt land from Zuari? “Is there any benefit in terms of employment or stamp duty? What action will the State of Goa take on Zuari? Will land be taken back?” he asked.
Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai demanded an SIT or house committee inquiry on the Zuari land issue.
“How is industrial land sold to Goa Housing Board; this is a Rs 50,000 crore scam; as per law, we cannot change the land use,” he said.
Zuari Agro Chemicals, the agriculture vertical of the Adventz Group, had sold off the company’s fertilizer plant in Goa to unlisted joint venture company Paradeep Phosphates Ltd (PPL) for a total consideration of $280 million (about Rs 2135.06 crore).
In its regulatory filing, Zuari Agro Chemicals said the company’s liquidity position had deteriorated during the previous fiscal due to a delay in receipt of subsidies from the government and a drought-like situation in key marketing areas.