Bhubaneswar: Former union minister and Congress leader Srikant Jena on Sunday mocked the Odisha and central governments for taking credit for IOC’s Rs.34,555 crore refinery project at Paradip in the state.
The state-of-the-art 15 MMTPA capacity project of public-sector Indian Oil Corporation is scheduled to be dedicated to the nation on February 7 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jena said it was UPA government that deserved credit for implementing the project and not the Modi government which made no contribution.
Besides, the Odisha government, led by Naveen Patnaik, was actually responsible for delaying the project causing Rs.5,000 crore in cost overruns, said Jena, who was chemicals and fertilisers minister during the second stint of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“Both BJP and BJD are now trying to capitalise on the project and competing with each other to bring maximum people to the meeting venue to be addressed by Modi and Naveen Patnaik,” he said.
He said Rs.60 crore was being spent on publicising the inauguration of the project and several publicity vehicles have been fanned out across the state to gather crowds at the function.
While Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation of the refinery in 2000 when he was prime minister, the project had been conceived way back by the Congress government led by P.V. Narasimha Rao, said Jena.
The project was stalled in 2002 when the Naveen Patnaik government withdrew incentives to it, he said.
“Modi and Patnaik should have the courage to admit the truth when they inaugurate the project,” Jena said.