5000-hectare Navi Mumbai SEZ is under the government''s
scanner. Who owns the Navi Mumbai SEZ Project? That''s
the question the IT department seems to be asking. In
July 2006, CNBC-TV18 had reported that Mukesh Ambani would
hold majority stake in the Navi Mumbai SEZ in his personal
Sources say, that the developers of the Navi Mumbai SEZ
was a consortium of Mukesh Ambani''s personal investment
companies, state owned CIDCO and Nikhil Gandhi''s SKIL
infrastructure who had first bid for the Mumbai SEZ in
Mukesh Ambani had picked up a majority stake in SKIL infrastructure
promoted by Nikhil Gandhi in the third quarter of 2005.
But now, government officials say that on the face of
it, neither Reliance Industries nor Mukesh Ambani have
anything to do with the project.
fact, there now seem to be seven new companies that are
waiting to get approval as co-developers of the project.
These include Urban Infotech Solutions Private Limited,
Urban Water Supply Private Limited, Urban Communications
Infratsructure Private Limited, Urban Energy Generation
Private Limited, Urban Infrastructure Constructions Private
Limited, Urban Energy Transmission Private Limited, Urban
Energy Distribution Private Limited.
sources say that on the face of it, these companies seem
like shell companies without any experience in creating
infrastructure. Sources also say that the IT department
is likely to initiate an inquiry on the origin and role
of the seven co-developers since initial screenings indicate
that neither Mukesh Ambani or RIL have anything to do
with the SEZ or the seven shell companies.
As per the records available with the SEZ department in
the commerce ministry, Mukesh Ambani is not even on the
board of the Navi Mumbai SEZ Private Limited. When contacted,
the spokesperson for the Navi Mumbai SEZ, Dilip Chaware,
refused to comment on any of the issues.
In the last meeting of the BoA, the Revenue department
official raised serious objections regarding contiguity.
Sources say a National Highway is passing through the
proposed Navi Mumbai SEZ and therefore, clearance for
the proposal could take longer.
The BoA has directed the customs commissioner to examine
and submit a report before the next board meeting scheduled
for May 31st. But if more transparency on the holding
structure and the contiguity issue isn''t sorted out, the
project could face serious delays.