Harsimrat Badal attacks Rahul Gandhi

Harsimrat Badal attacks Rahul Gandhi on Amethi food park

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday launched a veiled attack on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for “failure” to operationalise the Amethi Mega Food Park.

“The mega food park in Amethi was sanctioned in 2010 but till 2014 he (Rahul Gandhi) had not ensured that even a single brick was laid,” Badal told reporters here answering a question on absence of food parks in Uttar Pradesh.

She said the “elected Member of Parliament” from Amethi could have done his part and ensured setting up of the park.

The minister defended the decision to cancel the Amethi park but hastened to add that following fresh requests, Uttar Pradesh may soon get a few mega food parks as new proposals have already come in. The state goes for assembly elections next year.

After the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power, the Food Processing Industries Ministry had cancelled the in-principle approval given (by the erstwhile UPA regime) to a mega food park in Amethi on the ground that the promoters failed to acquire the requisite land in the name of the Special Purpose Vehicle in 45 months, even though there was a precondition of a six-month deadline for the same.

The issue of cancellation of Amethi food park had figured prominently in the Lok Sabha last year after Rahul Gandhi had raised it and had flayed the NDA government for cancelling the approval.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, however, had later alleged that the promoter company during the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime wanted to play “fraud” and tried to run a power plant instead of a food park.

“After going through revenue model of the food park, we found out that more than 62 per cent of the expected revenue would come from selling electricity on commercial rates to other units in the food park and only about 18 per cent would be generated for setting up cold storage and food processing,” Badal had said last year.

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