Andhra government reconstitutes infrastructure corporation board

Hyderabad, Oct 10, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Andhra Pradesh government Friday reconstituted the board of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), removing B.P. Acharya as the director following allegations against him in a deal with Emaar Properties.

The government issued orders bringing Ajay Mishra, principal secretary, investment, as the director in place of Acharya, who is the principal secretary of industries department.

The government also named five other bureaucrats as directors – B.R. Meena, Anantaramu, K. Madhusudhana Rao, T. Satyanarana Rao and Vikas Raj.

The government continued Shivarama Subramanyan as APIIC chairman.

The board has been constituted at a time when the opposition has stepped up the campaign demanding a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the APIIC-Emaar deal.

The APIIC has already admitted that Emaar Properties had sold its stake in 535-acre Boulder Hills to Emaar MGF, an offshoot of the Emaar Group without informing it.

The APIIC had leased the prime land in Gacchibowli area here, estimated to be worth Rs.2,500 crore, to Dubai-based Emaar Properties for the joint venture, a township-cum-golf course, in 2003.

Under the joint venture, APIIC had 49 percent stake but it was reduced to 26 percent and that of Emaar raised to 74 percent after Congress came to power in 2004. Emaar in 2006, without the knowledge of APIIC, signed a development agreement with Emaar MGF for the development of a township. The government realized after nearly four years that it had been taken for a ride and recently issued a legal notice to Emaar.

The APIIC chairman Thursday exuded confidence that the issue would be resolved with Emaar as the latter has agreed to take action after verifying the records.

The opposition, however, has alleged that APIIC’s stake was diluted with the connivance of APIIC officials and is demanding a CBI probe to bring out the facts.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has even alleged that former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and government advisor K.V.P. Ramchandra Rao were also involved in the irregularities.

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