The Haryana cabinet Friday approved a proposal for reversal of 1,383.68 acres of land from Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, meant for setting up of the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) model special economic zone (SEZ) in the country.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told media after the cabinet meeting that the government had decided to take back the land which had been given to a Reliance Industries subsidiary, Reliance Haryana SEZ Limited (RHSL) through the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC).

The SEZ, which was to be spread in 25,000 acres in Haryana’s Gurgaon and Jhajjar district, close to national capital New Delhi, had been announced in June 2006 with great fanfare by the Hooda government and Mukesh Ambani had specially flown down to Chandigarh for the agreement signing.

Hooda said that the Haryana government will pay Reliance Rs.343.51 crore for the land being taken back. The land was acquired by the Haryana government and given to RHSL through HSIIDC. The rest of the land was to be acquired by RHSL on its own.

The RHSL had in January 2012 offered to return the land to the Haryana government and had sought a refund of Rs.1,172 crore.

The SEZ project became economically unviable due to mid-term corrections in the SEZ policy by the central government, especially capping the SEZ land at 12,500 acres, withdrawal of tax holiday, slowdown in global economy and high land prices making acquisition difficult. IANS