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May 2020
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Business News
Guj CM orders to cancel permissions given to Sterling Port Ltd at Dahej
 
Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered to cancel all the permissions given to Sterling Port Ltd for development of an all weather port at Dahej in Bharuch district of the state. Sterling port Ltd''s promoters are Nitin Sandesara and his borther Chetan Sandesara, who were also the promoters of Vadodara based pharma company Sterling Biotech and were involved in over Rs 11000 crore bank loan defraud scam.

Rupani has also ordered the authorities in Gujarat Maritime Board to take back the 85 hectare land given to the company for the port development purpose. The government had through the board entered into a concession agreement with Sterling Ports ltd in Mid 2014 for the development of Dahej Port as a world class all weather port. The company which was to invest over Rs 2000 crore for the purpose in the first phase, had in fact failed to provide Rs 37 crore bank guarantee to board and the rent of the land leased to it for development of the port.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the state government this evening said that Rupani has shown a strict attitude towards Sandesara, who has fled from the country after taking loan from various banks and financial institutes by canceling all the agreements for development allotted to Sterling Port Ltd to develop Bharuch''s Dahej Port as all-weather berthing port. He has ordered Gujarat Maritime board to take immediate steps to recover the remaining dues of Sterling Port Ltd. The Board had entered into a concessional agreement in December 2008 with Sterling Biotech for development of all-weather berthing at Dahej and an intent letter was allotted in January 2009.

With it, Maritime Board had allocated 84.95 hectare of government land on lease at Dahej in June-2010 to the company for its leveling and fencing. The board approved for the construction of the port in March-2011. A new company, Sterling Port Ltd, was formed by Sterling Biotech Ltd and by its members of the consortium for the development of the Dahej Port. The concession agreement was signed between these new company and the Gujarat Maritime Board in June -2014.

According to the agreement, the company was to investment of Rs 2500 crores in the first phase to undertake development of Dahej Port and for it the company was to give one and a half percentage amount of construction and Rs 5.00 Crore as performance guarantee to Gujarat Maritime Board. But after the agreement the company had not undertaken any concrete action for the development of the port and Sterling Port Ltd even failed to pay Rs 37.50 crore bank guarantee and stipulated fixed rent for 84.95 hector land to Gujarat Maritime Board.

The state government has accepted the recommendations during an emergency meeting of the board convened on the instruction of the CM, to cancel the concession agreement and to forfeit all the guaranteed amounts.


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