They make attractive offers to Tata Motors
Gujarat offers three strategic locations
Karnataka ups the ante
Mumbai: The Tatas’ decision to exit from Singur in West Bengal has brought the curtains down on a tumultuous episode in the development of the “people’s car.”
Obviously, West Bengal’s loss will be another State’s gain. And, the melee has begun with several States vying with one another to bag the Nano small car project. In fact, they started wooing the Tatas the moment the company announced suspension of work at Singur two months ago. Among the first off the block was Karnataka. Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant met Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa this week. The State has upped the ante, asking its Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh Nirani to call on senior Tata Motors officials and impress upon them its interest in accommodating the project.
Tata Motors already has 900 acres in Dharwad, of which 600 acres is for its joint venture with Marco Polo to make buses, while 300 acres is for another joint venture with Hitachi, Telcon to make construction equipment. The State has offered 1,000 acres to the Tatas to drive the Nano there.
Gujarat has offered three strategic locations — Mundra in Kutch district, Charodi in Sanand taluk of Ahmedabad district and a location in Surat. Industry sources said the Gujarat government also offered a huge tract in Bhuj.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has also renewed his invitation to the Tatas to set up shop in the State. Mr. Deshmukh was quoted as saying Ratan Tata approached him when he was touring Europe and that he planned to meet Mr. Tata to discuss the proposal.
Orissa has offered land at Gopalpur in Ganjam district, where the company has an unused stretch of about 3,700 acres since 1998. The State has also communicated to the Tatas that they could avail themselves of all facilities provided to investors under the Industrial Policy Resolution, 2007.
Andhra Pradesh has also indicated its willingness to offer 1,000 acres. Last month, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy wrote to the Tatas inviting them to set up the Nano plant and the company wrote back saying the State was among those under consideration. Caparo Engineering, a major auto part maker contracted to supply inner steel panels for Nano, has taken 2,000 acres in the State. The State has identified land for Nano at a few places in Nellore district, including Tada and Naidupet, where Caparo is located, besides Kakinada in East Godavari. A few locations in Medak and Warangal are also on the radar.
Uttarakhand has also joined the fray in welcoming the Tatas. The automobile major already makes Ace, Magic and Winger commercial vehicles at its 1,000-acre Pantnagar facility in the State. Other States queuing up to woo the small car project are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Manas Dasgupta reports from Ahmedabad:
Gujarat feels West Bengal’s loss could be its gain. A government spokesman recalled what Mr. Tata himself said about the State’s progress in industrial development.
Addressing the “Vibrant Gujarat” summit in January 2007, Mr Tata highly appreciated the strides made by the State in industrial development and infrastructure. His concluding remark was most heartening to the State authorities. “You are stupid if you are not in Gujarat,” Mr Tata told the gathering.
Besides “reliable” infrastructure including steady power supply and road, air and port connectivity, most of the half-a-dozen locations suggested by the State government for shifting the Tatas car project were government-owned land where acquisition would not be a problem unlike as at Singur.
Among the locations suggested by the government are Mundra in Kutch district, near the Mundra private sector port, where the Tatas’ 4,000-MW power project was coming up; Maroli in Navsari district, also near the sea coast and port; Prantij in Sabarkantha district; Savli and Padra in Vadodara district and Sanand in Ahmedabad district.
While officials say it is too early to predict Tatas’ decision, informed sources believe that the land at Charodi and Chharal villages in Sanand taluk could be the ultimate choice. The area has over 2,200 acres of land under the control of the state-run Gujarat Agricultural University. A major advantage for the Tatas at Sanand would be the proximity to Ahmedabad, as the area is just about 25 km from the mega city to house its staff. Also, it is less than 200 km from the engineering works nerve centre of Rajkot, where even otherwise more than 30 per cent of the Nano components were being manufactured and were scheduled to be shipped to Singur.
In an attempt to woo the Tatas, the Andhra Pradesh government has announced a slew of incentives for the automobile industry in general.
Presiding over the 49th State Investment Promotion Board meeting in Hyderabad, Dr. Reddy cleared the incentives package and decided to adopt the ultra mega integrated automobile policy as was being done in Tamil Nadu. The incentives include provision of land at a concessional rate (to be decided case by case), 100 per cent exemption of stamp duty, power supply with dual feeder lines at government cost and a 10- year exemption from payment of electricity tax.