LOA Vol 36 - Issue - 02 - 15 Oct 2012
Cabinet Approval Not Sought for Viper Project
By Staff Reporter
On 28 March 2011, before the Viper Yacht Marina and 30-room accommodation agreement was signed, there existed an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Finance, which categorically stated that approval of Union Cabinet for sale or long term lease of land belonging to the Government is required. This Order amends the Office Memorandum dated 25 June 2010 reiterating the provisions of Rules 28 and 278 of GFR 2005, which makes express approval of Finance Ministry essential for sale, lease of Govt assets or resources and makes the approval of the Cabinet in each case of sale or long lease of land mandatory.
In the Viper Project, the ANI Admn is learnt to have not sought the approval of the Cabinet and has ignored the Memorandum and given the land for long lease to the Reacon-PMM Marina consortium, in clear violation of the General Finance Rules.
In the Office Memorandum issued by the Ministry with the approval of the Finance Secretary, it clearly states that instances of violations have come to the notice of the government where land in possession and control of the government is sought to be alienated through means such as sale, lease and that it has been observed that the value of the land has increased tremendously, especially during last one or two decades. In this context, Cabinet Secretariat has informed that a policy with regard to transfer or alienation of land held by the Government or statutory authorities etc is being framed by the Government and that the Prime Minister has approved that in the meanwhile all the Ministries/Departments would seek specific approval of the Cabinet in each case of sale or long term lease of land belonging to the Government.
In a correspondence to the PPP Division of the Consultant, Satish Mathur, Secretary Tourism had clearly mentioned that the proposal does not attract the provisions of Policy on PPP mode and had sought them to ignore it.
However, overlooking the approval of Cabinet is in clear violation apart from various other breaches by ANI Admn in the execution of the Yacht Marina Project in