Staff Reporter

He demands white paper on efforts made by government to woo the company

VIJAYAWADA: Instead of solely pursuing Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the Congress Government should “actively” woo the Tata Motors to consider relocating its Nano car plant in Andhra Pradesh, says TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao.

Speaking to The Hindu on Saturday, Mr. Rao deplored the Government’s “excessive interest” in making proposals for 31 SEZs without ever bothering to make sincere efforts to attract a major industrial house like the Tatas. “The reason for its interest in SEZs is obvious. It is only to benefit the Congress leaders, who want instant gains by way of real estate business,” he said.

Nano plant

Mr. Rao suggested that for the setting up of the Nano plant, land should be proposed to be given in some backward areas of the State and preferably in the industrially neglected parts of south coastal Andhra Pradesh.

The TDP MLA wanted the Government to clarify whether AP figured in the list of three to four States being considered by the auto major for relocation of its Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal.

He demanded that the ruling Congress come out with a white paper on the efforts it had made to get the prestigious project to the State.

Mr. Rao charged the Government with “overenthusiastically” going ahead with the SEZs without considering the benefits they would be created for the local people in terms of jobs and economic benefits.

Fair treatment

Recalling the experience of Volkswagen, Mr. Rao asserted that there was a greater need to enhance the trustworthiness of the State if big companies were to be convinced about a fair treatment that would be given to them in their industrial investments in AP.

“The SEZs are a classic case of the Government’s greediness. It has got 31 SEZs approved from the Board of Approvals of the Union Commerce Ministry,” he pointed out.

The TDP MLA said that the Central Government had approved only nine SEZs in Karnataka, one each in Kerala and Chhattisgarh.

He felt that the State Government should propose a suitable land in a backward area for the Tata Motors so that if it became a reality, thousands of youth would get direct or indirect employment.