GIDC’s transfer to hike lease lease unlawful, says trade

PANAJI: Goa State Industries Association on Wednesday opposed Goa Industries Development Corporation’s () move to significantly increase lease rent not only for new industrial units, but also retrospectively. As a special meeting convened, industrialists from across the state demanded that the corporation revoke their decision.
“The arbitrary variation in lease rent during the continuance of the lease period will send a wrong signal to the investor community and will place a heavy financial burden on early investors,” president of the industries association said.

A few days earlier, Verna had urged the corporation to revoke the decision or else industrialists would be bound to take further course of action.

The corporation, which is struggling financially, issued a letter on April 6 to existing industrial estates and informed them about the hike in lease rent and raw water charges. The notice was issued after the board meeting on April 4 where lease rates were hiked to Rs 8 per sqm for industrial plots up to 2,000 sqm and Rs 16 per sqm for plots up to 5,000sqm. Larger plots of up to 10,000sqm have to pay Rs 24 per sqm while any plot more than 10,000 sqm would have to pay Rs 32.

For some industrial units, which have inked a long-term lease, the hike is as much as 2,000%, while for most industrial estates the increase in lease rent is on an average around 300%.

The industries association termed the corporation’s decision as unilateral, arbitrary and illegal. “How can they revise lease charges when the original lease agreement is still in force? This will not stand legally,” said.

In many cases, the legal agreement inked between the corporation and individual industrial units is fixed for 30 years or 99 years.

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