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Patanjali’s SEZ unit gets nod.

Date: 24-04-2017
Subject: Patanjali’s SEZ unit gets nod
Nagpur: The unit approval committee (UAC) under the Development Commissioner's office for Mihan-SEZ has finally granted its sanction to Patanjali Ayurved Limited's project. The UAC had held up its approval on the grounds that the wall demarcating Patanjali's plots in the SEZ and non-SEZ areas had gaps. Both the projects are side by side. The non-SEZ plot was purchased through competitive bidding.

The approval has resolved the dispute between Patanjali and Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), towards the payment of land cost.
Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali's managing director, told TOI that the company will now release the payment. Soon after it gave a cheque worth Rs64 crore to MADC, Patanjali had issued stop payment orders to its bank. This had led to the cheque being dishonoured twice. Balkrishna said the stop payment was done as getting possession of SEZ land was held up due to UAC's objections related to the wall.

Patanjali completed building the wall 2-3 days ago. The company has more than 300 acres of land in the Mihan complex. It started with bagging a parcel of 234 acres through auction in non-SEZ for setting up a food park. The non-SEZ land deal has run into controversy with a PIL being filed alleging it was sold at much cheaper rates.

During the groundbreaking ceremony held in August 2016, Patanjali also announced to buy another land parcel in the SEZ. The company wants to build an exclusive unit for exports. Patanjali's SEZ land is spread in 106 acres. To allow shorter access to the non-SEZ plot during the ground breaking function, the SEZ walls were broken. Patanjali was supposed to get them repaired.

Balkrishna told TOI that now funds are expected to released in a day or two. This will enable signing of the lease deed with MADC for the SEZ land.
On the food park in the non-SEZ area, he said there are plans to come up with branded products made out of the fabled Nagpur orange. This will be the first initiative of its kind.

The company is not expecting to earn much profits from the juice as such. Patanjali will be relying on the essence extracted out of the orange peel. "Earnings from the juice may not be enough to even cover the expenses. We plan to start the production line as the orange crop arrives next winter," said Balkrishna.

He said orders have been placed for processing machines for the fruit from US and Sweden. The total order is worth Rs234 crore. Patanjali is procuring the latest fruit processing lines from the vendors, he said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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