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Govt won't cancel Maytas projects: Andhra FM

BS Reporter in Hyderabad | January 19, 2009 11:07 IST

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The state government is in no hurry to cancel the projects awarded to Maytas Infra or blacklist the company, said Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister K Rosaiah.

"We will take an appropriate decision when the company (Maytas) fails to discharge its responsibility in the timeframe agreed earlier,'' he said.

Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad on Sunday, he said the government would not cast aspersions on Maytas, a sister concern of Satyam [Get Quote]. Instead, it would prefer to tackle each project individually. Maytas Infra is promoted by Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju and family, with the promoters having an over 36 per cent stake in the company.

"The state government is not working to promote Satyam or Maytas. It is only trying not to waste the public money by acting in haste," he said.

There would be legal complications and a price that the government would have to pay if it calls off a project awarded to a company and vice-versa. Also, the re-tendering of the same work may be costlier due to the variation in prices, he said.

The state finance minister dismissed the allegations that the government had gone out of its way to sanction projects to Maytas. "The projects were allotted following established and transparent processes." In all, Maytas' share under the Jalayagnam project awarded by the state irrigation department stands at Rs 5,439.11 crore (Rs 54.39 billion), which is 6.8 per cent of the total Rs 79,418.8 crore (Rs 794.19 billion) contracts awarded by the department. The company is executing 22 packages in joint ventures and three individually.

A high-power committee has approved the tenders for two works under the Pranahita Chevella Lift Irrigation Project, but has not yet issued orders in both the cases. Similarly, it has yet to approve the tender for Dummugudem tailpond (package 5) in Khamman under the Nagarjuna Sagar project, Rosaiah said.  

The Maytas-led consortium has also bagged the Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion) Hyderabad Metro Rail project, the financial closure for which is expected to be achieved by March 18.

Maytas secured projects worth Rs 278 crore (Rs 2.78 billion) during the Telugu Desan regime. This was about 12.2 per cent of the total contracts awarded by the TDP, he pointed out.

To a query if the state government has ascertained the financial strength of Maytas after the Satyam fiasco came to light, the finance minister said it would measure implementation and progress of the projects on a regular basis. "The onus is on Maytas and its joint venture partners to execute the projects as they would be individually and jointly responsible for completion of the projects."


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