Mega seafood park in India facing tenant payment issues
The government of India’s Odisha state is warning tenants in a mega seafood park they will be evicted if they continue to abscond on paying land fees.
Eighteen of the 20 seafood exporters that have set up in the Odisha Industrial Park, located on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, have not paid their bills, according to the Business Standard. The paper reported that the new business park initially attracted many seafood-related firms, with nearly two dozen signing a memorandum of understanding with the state government-owned Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDOC), but that only two tenants – Falcon Marine Exports and Magnum Seafoods – have paid for their allotted land.
Spread over 152 acres split between 41 units, the seafood-centered business cluster includes state-of-the-art common infrastructure for collective processing of seafood, including cold storage, pre-processing and post-processing facilities, ice and packaging plants, including a polythene unit, and a research and development facility.
IDOC is the developer of the INR 1.34 billion (USD 206 million, EUR 166 million) project – of which India’s central government and Odisha’s state government each contributed INR 650 million (USD 100.10 million, EUR 80.64 million), approved under the Mega Food Park Scheme of the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
IDOC’s initial estimates predicted that once operational, the park’s tenants would process 90,860 metric tons of seafood per annum and generate more than 7,000 jobs.
However, seafood exporters involved in the park said that the land rate per unit, fixed by the government at INR 7 million (USD 107,805, EUR 86,851), is too high, as the current market rate is INR 3 million (USD 46,102, EUR 37,222).
The members of Odisha’s chapter of the Seafood Exporters Association of India has demanded the IDOC cut its prices, warning that it will encourage its members to stay unless action is taken to make land in the park more affordable.
Photo courtesy of the Business Standard