Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, then Governor Syed Sibtey Razi and Baba Ramdev at the foundation laying ceremony of the food park in February 2009
Ranchi, May 22: Land measuring 56 acre near the picturesque Getalsud dam was leased to a state-backed conglomeration of private companies yesterday, the first baby step in setting up a food park, the idea of which has attracted the likes of yoga guru Baba Ramdev to Jharkhand.
The Rs 113-crore project to be set up by Jharkhand Mega Food Park Ltd (JMFPL) has the blessings of Union tourism minister and Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay who took the initiative in organising a foundation stone laying ceremony in February 2009 in the presence of a host of VIPs, including Ramdev and then Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.
Yesterday, Ranchi Industrial Area Development Authority (RIADA), which is under the state industry department, leased the land for 30 years to the conglomerate through registration at the district sub-registrar’s office in Ranchi.
There are six major partners in the venture. Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd holds majority stake of 40 per cent in JMFPL, while GenX Venture Capital holds 15 per cent, followed by Lunar General Trading’s 10 per cent and other small companies.
The state government holds a 5 per cent, all-profit sweat equity via RIADA. This, according to industry department sources, means the state would not be liable for losses, if any, incurred by JMFPL.
Moreover, director (industries) will be director on the company’s board.
The project, explained incumbent Vandana Dadel, was stuck on issues concerning sub-lease rights.
“Now everything has been settled at the level of government. The project is all set to get a new lease of life,” she said.
JMFPL project manager Rakesh Sahay said they had already floated tenders for various construction activities. “It was held up since the last three years. Now, with the lease agreement, we will be able to expedite processes,” he added.
As many as 32 units are set to come up in the 56-acre food park. While many of them are expected to belong to the six major partners, local entrepreneurs will also find place.
Ramdev’s company had promised to set up a factory to make his now famous Arogya biscuits and a unit to process gourd juice.
“The state could have reaped the benefit of the project much earlier. However, it’s better late then never,” said Sahay, who had initiated the project when he was holding the food processing portfolio at the Centre.