Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray
Maharashtra tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray

The opposition, on Wednesday, targeted Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray for his decision to reduce the penalty charged against Bajaj Auto from Rs 143 crore to Rs 25 crore.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Legislator Atul Bhatkhakar attacked Aaditya Thackeray’s role as the environment minister in the Bajaj Auto case. During question hour in the state assembly, Bhatkhalkar said Bajaj Auto was given 200 acres of land in 2007 in Chakan, but the company did not do anything till 2020.

“The meeting was held in the presence of Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray on the recovery of delayed charges from Bajaj Auto for the non usage of land for a long time. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had proposed a delay charges of Rs 143 crore, but it was reduced to a paltry Rs 25 crore at the same time,” said Bhatkhalkar. “Did Aaditya reduce the delayed charges to Rs 25 crore from Rs 143 crore?” he asked.

Desai rejected Bhatkhalkar’s submission and assured the house that MIDC will recover the necessary charges as per the stipulated norms. He further said it was true that the company, on their given land parcel, had proposed to carry out expansion, but could not do so. Therefore, MIDC served a notice to take back the land, but the company went to the High Court.

However, Desai said Bajaj Auto has proposed a Rs 5,000 crore investment at Chakan for the manufacturing of electric two wheelers. He also told the house that Bajaj Auto has been a prominent investor since the formation of Maharashtra and the company has made most of its investments in the state.

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