Properties of compradors in IDCO need be seized immediately pending responsibility fixation and punishment

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) tabled in Orissa Assembly on June 23 exposes nasty facets of Orissa administration that patronizes private companies at the cost of the people.

Samples are galore. Private Companies have used the State Government to acquire vast volumes of land by misuse of Land Acquisition Act. Public Sector IDCO makes the acquisition under cover of ‘public purpose’ to hoodwink the law and on obtaining the lease of such land as well as government plots, subleases the same to private companies. 


Besides having located the illegalities in these deals, the CAG has come out with chilling information on how illegally the IDCO has helped some of the companies obtain thousands of crores of rupees from Banks by mortgaging the lands subleased to them.

According to CAG, on the basis of ‘no-objection-certificate’ (NOC) issued by IDCO, banks have sanctioned Rs. 52,423.50 crores to 12 industries against mortgage of 8489.828 acres of land that belong basically to the State Government, as IDCO is merely the lease holder. Issuance of NOC to help industries bag bank loans of such massive amount by mortgaging the land subleased to them by the IDCO is not permissible under the law, the CAG has said.

As far back as August 2010, a low-paid night watchman of IDCO was captured by the State vigilance for disproportionate property worth around Rs.2.6 crores. The vigilance is yet to tell the public as to what has happened to the said watchman Rajanikant Jena. A top functionary of the team that had raided Jena’s house then had confided in me that the watchman was witness to underhand transactions in land allocation and had amassed the wealth including cash amounting to Rs. 33,43, 960 seized during the raid, by blackmailing the compradors in official chairs of IDCO.

The unauthorized NOC that has helped industries cultivate sanction of Rs.52,423.50 crores bank loans against lands allocated to them in Orissa, are all compradors working for them from their chairs in IDCO.

This is a crime against the people of Orissa. it is incumbent upon the the State Government to act against these compradors. The night watchman episode made it clear that compradors are active in IDCO from top to lowest layer. Every position in IDCO that has attracted attention of CAG, should be subjected to prosecution for violation of rules and norms in eagerness to serve the interest of private industries in matter of allocation of land, grant of NOC to mortgage the same land for cultivating bank loans to the tune of around Rs.53 thousand crore,

To begin with, their properties should be sealed/seized till determination of innocence, if any.

And, vigilance should tell the people if Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has no role in this offense.

CAG Report on Land Acquisition: Naveen Patnaik’s anti-people administration stripped layer by layer

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“Emergency provision was arbitrarily applied, contrary to the provisions of Land Acquisition Act and the land owners were deprived of the rights to contest the land acquisition and protect their property due to inappropriate application of emergency provision,” points out the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its performance report on ‘Acquisition and allotment of land for industrial purpose by IDCO for the period of 2001-12’, released on June 23.

CAG has stripped Naveen Patnaik’s anti-people administration layer by layer.

The LA Act has given people certain safeguards to people to protect their landed properties by objecting to acquisition. The same is rendered inconsequential by use of ‘emergency’ clause. The mandarins managing administration are so mismanaged by Naveen Patnaik that officers having no jurisdiction to approve land allocation to private industries have done it in blatant contravention of legal stipulations. As for example, it is stipulated that in cases of emergency, IDCO recommendation for allocation of land to private companies may be approved by officers of Deputy Secretary and above rank. But CAG has found allocation of as much as 2845.38 acres of land recommended for only 10 companies approved by lower rank officials, having no jurisdiction at all, like the Under Secretary.

Ever since Naveen Patnaik has started functioning as Chief Minister, many cultivators have been denuded of their land under the design of ‘public purpose’. It seems, the public sector IDCO is acting a comprador for private industries.

The Naveen Patnaik government is forcing people to part with their landed property for ‘public purpose’, but in reality the lands are acquired for private purpose of private companies by using their money for acquisition.

The CAG has noted, “Land for these industries should have been acquired under Part VII of LA Act, but was acquired under ‘public purpose’ to by-pass the legal provisions and procedures prescribed under Part VII of the LA Act sand LA (Companies) Rule 1963”.

Lands are allotted to private companies according to their preference at locations they decide, without care for how it would affect agriculture, irrigation and environment. Even the Revenue and Disaster Management Department (RDMD) has been used as an instrument in service of the private companies. It has approved acquisition of 14,296.56 acres of land for 33 non-government industries during the period from 2002 to 2012 under ‘public purpose’ clause. But, according to the CAG, “the circumstances did not permit the land to be acquired under ‘public purpose’ design”.

The RDMD had tried to justify its action under the cover of Section 31 (1) of OIIDC Act 1980. The CAG has rejected this mischief. “The reply is not acceptable since IDCO was acquiring land for private promoters and the entire cost of acquisition was borne by the promoters concerned” the CAG has observed while pointing out how the ‘public purpose’ clause has been misused to by-pass the law that provides for safeguarding the interest of land owners from the pernicious grip of private industries.