Current Affairs

Is Goa CM’s relaxed stand on SEZs to benefit Delta Corp promoter Jaydev Mody?

Contrary to its stand that Goa should not have Special Economic Zones (SEZ), the State Government is now in talks with the SEZ promoters to withdraw their petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Government’s decision to cancel SEZ policy in 2008. In return the government would provide alternate land in the industrial estates to the promoters for setting up their projects.

Here are few details we had exposed in January 2011 on the nexus of some of the SEZ promoters and its relation to Delta Corp (known for its Casino business in Goa) headed by Jaydev Mody.

Besides K Raheja Corporation the other company in the forefront of the SEZ Land Scam has been the Peninsula Land Limited (PLL) – a part of the Ashok Piramal Group under guises of different companies.

Even the matter of SEZ Land Allotment has been scrapped by the High Court Order dated 26th November 2010.

As on January 5, 2011 this is what the website www.peninsula.co.in says about its activities, “Peninsula Land Limited (PLL), the real estate arm of the brand Peninsula, is one of the first real estate companies listed on the stock exchange. All the real estate developments of Peninsula are carried under this flagship company.

Diversifying further its domain, Peninsula is developing 3 Special Economic Zones in Goa. We have been allotted two plots of land spread over 170 acres for the development of Biotechnology SEZs and another 30 acres for the development of Gems & Jewelry SEZ. These plots have been allotted to us by the Government of Goa for the development of infrastructure at different locations in Goa.”

Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd was allotted 20.36 hectares land at Sancoale. Since this was not an Industrial Estate, the GIDC used an approved formula for calculating the premium. Using the premium rates, the price for the property in Sancoale worked out to Rs 934.20 per sqmt. However when executing the lease deeds in March/April 2006 the GIDC charged Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd a premium of Rs 270 per sqmts only. The lack of infrastructure and ‘sloppy nature’ of the land in case of Peninsula were cited as reasons for charging lower premiums.

The ‘Mody-Piramal’ Connection

Here are few inputs from the Delta Corp official website:
Delta Corp is promoted by Jaydev Mody, an eminent and successful Indian entrepreneur and erstwhile Managing Director of Peninsula Land Limited (PLL) (promoted by the Ashok Piramal Group).
In addition, Mody has also been instrumental in setting up the Ashok Piramal group’s real estate and retail business comprising of PLL and Pyramid Retail Limited (PRL) and is on the board of PLL and PRL.
Mody while being the promoter of Delta Corp, also serves as a director on the PLL and PRL. In the SEZ Land Allotment application for Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercantile Pvt Ltd and Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd in the promoters/directors section Jaydev Mody and Rajiv Piramal are listed as promoters/directors of the company. In fact Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd was not even a registered company during the time of the allotment as per regulations stipulated by GIDC. Just till date Rajiv Piramal is also the Director on the board of Delta Corp. Zia Mody, Promoter of Delta Corp (wife of Jaydev Mody) is the Co-founder of AZB partners, one of the legal firms for the reliance industries.

The ‘Delta Corp’ Connection
Delta Corp along with its subsidiaries currently operates in the following lines of business: Entertainment and gaming business, Real Estate business, Real estate consultancy services, Real estate development in Kenya and Hospitality business.

In order to tap the opportunity available in the hospitality sector, Delta Corp has formed a joint venture with Peninsula Land limited i.e. PLL Delta Hotel Limited (PLLDHL). Going forward, PLLDHL intends to develop 3/4 star 100 bed hotels in various urban locations in India primarily in Southern and Western India.
In the annual report of Delta Corp 2009-10, the chairman Jaydev Mody stated that in the past 12 months the company has earned Rs 6,571 lakhs (Rs 65.71 crores) through the casino business.
Delta Corp also own 34.9 per cent equity share capital in the Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited – thereby further enhancing their foray into the hospitality business with the Ramada Caravela Beach Resort. Subsequently, the company is also planning to launch the first floating hotel in Goa tentatively called the ‘Royale Floatel’ a 22 room boutique hotel which is supposed to be stationed on the Mandovi River as well.
Interestingly though, one of the key focus areas has been in Nairobi, Kenya in which they have got a Joint Venture real estate initiative with the Reliance Industries Limited.

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