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Maytas projects being reviewed: Andhra CM

BS Reporters in Hyderabad | January 12, 2009 10:55 IST

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said on Sunday public projects being implemented by Maytas Infra in the state, individually or as part of consortia, were being closely reviewed.

Responding to various allegations levelled against his government on issues related to Satyam [Get Quote] and its subsidiaries, he said, "We have already asked the state chief secretary to review all the projects awarded to Maytas Infra and its joint venture partners."  Disgraced founder of Satyam Computer Ramalinga Raju and his family hold 36 per cent stake in Maytas Infra.

"The government has already begun the process of evaluating the execution capabilities of Maytas Infra and its partners. It will look into all the aspects, including whether the company (Maytas Infra) and its consortium partners have the
capabilities to execute the projects or if the projects are under a cloud," he told a press conference in Hyderabad on Sunday.

The total value of the projects awarded to Maytas and its joint venture partners amounts to Rs 3,800 crore (Rs 38 billion).

"The scrutiny will cover projects, including the Rs 12,000-crore (Rs 120-billion) Hyderabad Metro Rail Project and the Rs 1,650 crore (Rs 16.5 billion) Machilipatnam Port projects, in which Maytas Infra is lead partner," he said.

The consortium that bagged the Hyderabad Metro Rail project comprises Maytas (26 per cent), Nava Bharat Ventures [Get Quote] (16 per cent), Ital-Thai (5 per cent) and IL&FS (5 per cent), while the remaining 48 per cent is to be raised from the public or other sources.

In the Machilipatnam project, the state government has agreed to give a Rs 111-crore (Rs 1.11 billion) viability gap funding per year for three years to Maytas, in which the company holds 40 per cent while SREI Infrastructure holds 38 per cent and Nagarjuna Construction and Sarat Chatterjee and Company 11 per cent each.

"Of the Rs 3,800 crore worth of works, about Rs 1,748 crore (Rs 17.48 billion) have already been completed, while bills for works worth Rs 156 crore are pending with the government," he said.

Reddy said that there was a clause in all the concession agreements that were signed with Maytas-led joint ventures and if the company fails to complete the execution of the projects, its joint venture partners too - jointly or individually - will be held responsible for any further legal consequences.

"We will decide on the future action of Maytas and its consortia partners only when we receive the detailed report from the chief secretary," the chief minister said, adding that the government had also ordered the officials not to sanction any further mobilisation advances to Maytas companies.

The state government had already paid Rs 188 crore (Rs 1.88 billion) towards mobilisation advances to the firm for various projects, of which Rs 103 crore (Rs 1.03 billion) has been recovered.

The remaining will be recovered soon and they are also protected by bank guarantees, he said, adding that the "irrigation projects taken up by Maytas alone stand at Rs 14,000 crore (Rs 140 billion)."

Reddy said that the state government had urged the Prime Minister to initiate quick action to protect the interests of the 53,000 employees of Satyam and other stakeholders.

"The government of India is more experienced in dealing with the corporate and company affairs, which doesn't come under the purview of the state government. Hence, we have instructed the state chief secretary to look into the matter."

It may be noted that former Union economic affairs secretary EAS Sarma had levelled charges against the state government that it had allotted 50 acres of land to Satyam for setting up an IT park at Kapuluppada village for a measly Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million), besides accusing the government of irregularities related to several projects awarded to Maytas Infra including the Hyderabad Metro Rail and the Pranahita-Chevella project.

Post the Satyam scandal, opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh - Telugu Desam, Prajarajyam and the Telangana Rastriya Samithi -- have accused the Rajasekhara Reddy-led Congress government of allegedly favouring Maytas Infra.

The Opposition parties had demanded a white paper on infrastructure projects awarded to Maytas and also wanted confiscation of all the properties held by Ramalinga Raju's family.


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