Home Featured Hushed-up lease reinstatement to Saraswati Power raise questions on Jagan’s conflict of interest

Hushed-up lease reinstatement to Saraswati Power raise questions on Jagan’s conflict of interest

by Mukesh
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Saraswati Power is the first private limited company to get 5 G.O.s issued in its favour, in a short period of 7 months. In fact, Saraswati Power is the only company to receive lifetime allocation of water resources.

Among the many things he inherited from his father late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan Mohan Reddy inherits the reputation for taking care of his own. The latest case of reinstating leases to Saraswati Power and Industries comes forth as just another proof. 

The Government of Andhra Pradesh extended the Mining lease agreement for 50 Years to Saraswati Power and Industries over an extent of 613.476 hectares up to 10/08/2059. Andhra Chief Minister Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy along with his wife Y.S.Bharathi are Shareholders in the company as mentioned in their 2019 election Affidavit.

On 8th June 2020 Government of Andhra Pradesh released G.O.M.S. N.O. 30 amending the G.OM.S. No 109( issued to reinstate the Licences cancelled in 2014 to Saraswati Power and Industries), extending the duration of the mining licenses from 30 years to 50 years in tune with the Section 8-A(3) MM(D&R) Amendment Act, 2015, which mandated 50 years for the government to issue a lease agreement for limestone mining. Along with the change of the extent from 145.208 hectares in Vemaram Village Macharam Mandal to 202.254 hectares and 202.254 hectares in Chennayapalem, Machavaram to 145.208 hectares according to the ruling of the High court of Andhra Pradesh.

The opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu alleged the Chief Minister of blatant abuse of power for allocating land and water to his own company. Initially, mining leases were awarded to Saraswati Power and Industries during the tenure of Y.S.Rajashekar Reddy as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 2009. The contracts covered an extent of 613.7 Ha with 266.120 Ha in Tangeda Village in Dachepalli Mandal, 145.26 Ha in Vamaram Village, and 202.30 Ha Chennayapalem Villages of Machavaram Mandal. The limestone was priced at Rs. 5 per tonne with an added cess of Rs. 3 per tonne. The lease was subject to revision basis the permissions accorded by the A.P.P.C.B. environmental clearances from M.O.E.F.

After coming to power in 2014, the Chandrababu Naidu administration cancelled the lease accorded to Saraswati power and Industries PVT LTD citing several lapses in fulfilling the conditions of the agreements, including dues in payments.

When the mantle got changed in 2019, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government issued orders to allocate water to Saraswati power and Industries PVT LTD for five years. The new administration reinstated the lease agreement with Saraswati Power through The G.O.no-109 dated 12/12/2019. It is interesting to note that the government also released the G.O.M.S.no-81 dated 3/12/2019, allocating water to Saraswati power, earlier than reinstating the lease. 

The hushed-up G.O.no-109 was in violation of Section-8(A) of Minerals and Mines(Development and Regulation) Act 2015, wherein a mandatory lease for limestone mining is 50 years. To avoid further complications, the government issued the latest G.O.no-30 amending the G.O.M.S.no-109 on 8/06/2020.

According to the 2019 election affidavit of Jagan Mohan Reddy, the present Chief Minister and his wife YS Bharati have shares of Rs. 26 Cr and Rs. 13 Cr respectively. The reinstation of leases to Saraswati Power shows a case of conflict interest on the part of Jagan Mohan Reddy. 

The government extended the allocation of Krishna Water to Saraswati Power from five years to Lifetime through on 15/06/2020. Saraswati Power is the first private limited company to get 5 G.O.s issued in its favour, in a short period of 7 months. In fact, Saraswati Power is the only company to receive lifetime allocation of water resources.

 

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