Andhra Pradesh offers free land for Nano project (Lead)

October 5th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 5 (IANS) A team of officials from Tata Motors Sunday inspected two sites near here for the Nano small car project and met Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who offered free land and several other concessions.After visiting two villages in the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, Tata officials met the chief minister this evening at his camp office.

“We came here to know what the state has to offer,” Tata Motors managing director G. Ravi Kant said. He told reporters that the team placed the project’s requirements before the government and would wait for its response.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata Friday announced the Nano car project’s pullout from Singur in West Bengal due to continuing protests from the opposition and the row over land acquisition.

Several states, including Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, are trying to woo Tata. The team arrived here after visiting Karnataka, where it inspected three places in and around the twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad.

Chief Minister Reddy told the Tata officials that his government was ready to allot the required land for the project free of cost. He said the state would also provide all concessions on par with Tamil Nadu.

The chief minister briefed the team about his government’s ultra mega integrated automobile policy announced Friday. The policy offers huge sops, including 100 percent exemption from stamp duty, subsidised electricity with two feeder lines, exemption from electricity tax for 10 years and refund of gross output value added tax (VAT) and central sales tax (CST) for 21 years.

The government has also offered exemptions from entry tax, VAT on capital goods, works contract tax, octroi and other state levies.

The Tata team, however, faced hostile protests from farmers when it visited one of the sites in the adjoining Ranga Reddy district. The farmers said they would not part with their lands and staged road blockade for the visiting team.

Accompanied by officials of the state revenue department, the Tata officials visited Seetarampuram and Aluru villages in the Ranga Reddy district. Both sites are close to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad.

The delegation first visited Seetarampuram village, where the state government has offered 1,128 acres at concessional rates.

But as soon as the officials of the company and the revenue department reached there, local farmers gathered and tried to stop the inspection. They raised anti-government slogans.

The farmers made it clear that they would not surrender their lands at any cost as they had been cultivating these for decades. The police had to intervene and cane the farmers to allow the team to complete its inspection.

Tata officials also visited Aluru village where the government is offering 1,240 acres.

The state has proposed another site in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, where it is ready to allot 1,000 acres for the project. The proposed site is close to Visakhapatnam airport and port.

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