UAE-based Lulu Group snubs YSRCP govt, says it will never invest in Andhra again

Sreenivas Janyala
The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP government on October 30 had cancelled the land allotment made to Lulu Group in Visakhapatnam by the previous Telugu Desam Party regime. (PTI Photo/File)

Snubbing the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh, UAE based Lulu Group Tuesday said that it will never invest in the state again after the government cancelled the allotment of land in Visakhapatnam to build an international convention centre.

The group stated that although they were allotted land in Visakhapatnam by previous Telugu Desam Party government in a transparent manner, they accept the new government's decision to revoke the land allotment. Lulu group officials, however, made it clear that they will never invest in Andhra Pradesh again.

"We had participated in a very transparent bidding process and were awarded the land on lease for this project. Though we have incurred huge expenses towards initial project development costs such as appointing internationally renowned consultants and designing the project by world-class architects, we agree to the decision of the new Government of Andhra Pradesh to revoke the land allotment for this project. Given the current scenario, we have decided not to invest in any new projects in the state of Andhra Pradesh," said Ananth Ram, Lulu Group’s Director for India.

“Our Group which is based in the Gulf had decided to invest Rs 2,200 crores in AP to build an international convention centre, shopping mall and a five-star hotel project to provide global exposure to Visakhapatnam as a convention and shopping hub. Apart from this, the proposed mix-use project was expected to provide employment to more than 7000 local youth," Ram said. He said that the group accepts the decision of the new Government to revoke the allotment of land.

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"At the same time, we wish to reconfirm that our investments in upcoming projects in the other states of Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala will go ahead as per schedule," Ram said

The YSRCP Government on October 30 cancelled the land allotment made to Lulu Group in Visakhapatnam by the previous Telugu Desam Party regime. Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy decided to take back 13.83 acres given to the Lulu Group to build an international shopping mall and convention centre near Harbour Park facing the sea. A decision was also taken at the Cabinet meeting to cancel the agreement signed with Lulu Group. Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah said that the land was allotted unethically by the TDP Government. ``The TDP government did not invite global tenders and gave away the land to Lulu Group because of their proximity to the former CM. Lulu group was favoured and land was allotted in contravention of central and state rules. The land was also given at Rs 4 lakh per acre while the market value is much higher,’’ he said.

Officials said that the group had laid the foundation stone for the Rs 2,200 crore project including a luxury hotel, exhibitions halls and commercial complexes last February.