Free Press Journal

CAG raps Haryana govt for “undue favours” to Vadra


Robert Vadra

Chandigarh: “Undue favours” to builders, including Robert Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality, by the Haryana Government during the Congress regime has come under attack from the Comptroller and Auditor General. In its report for the year 2013-14, tabled in the Haryana Assembly today, the official auditor has come down heavily on the Town and Country Planning Department. “….the department neither at the time of granting in-principle approval nor at the time of formal approval for transfer of licenses ensured that net profit beyond 15 per cent of the total cost accrues to public exchequer.

“This enabled the developers to earn huge profits merely by selling the land while the government had to forego sizeable amount,” the CAG report said. The BJP and other Congress rivals had trained their guns on the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda government accusing it of showing favours to Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in his land deal with realty giant DLF. Though the report did not name Vadra, his company, Skylight Hospitality, was named. Skylight Hospitality, the report noted, sold a prime 3.5 acre piece of land in Manesar in Gurgaon district to DLF in 2008 for Rs 58 Crore.

Earlier, senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka had ordered the scrapping of the land deal, terming it as illegal. However, the previous Hooda government gave clean chit to Vadra in the land deal.

Pointing out irregularities in the development of internal circulating and approach road, CAG observed that as per existing practice the commercial sites should be approachable through internal roads. In the case of Skylight hospitality private limited, the site was not approachable, the CAG noted. The department, however, decided (March 2008) to waive this condition on the ground that the approach would be taken by the licensee through the plotted colony of Onkarshewar Properties Pvt Ltd and Mark Buildtech Private Limited in collaboration with Vatika Land base.

CAG further said that as per final development plan of Gurgaon-Manesar 2012, area falling under roads was not to be calculated towards net planned area and only benefit towards Floor Area Ratio (FAR) was to be given for transferring the land falling under roads. “While this principle was applied in 12 cases, the net area indicated against each of these applicants was after deducted the area under sector roads etc, whole area including the area falling under roads has been indicated in respect of Skylight Hospitality.

“It was not clear as to why such a distinction had been made in respect of Skylight,” the CAG report said.