Tata officials visit Andhra sites, face farmers’ protests

October 5th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 5 (IANS) A team of officials from Tata Motors Sunday conducted inspection of two sites near here for their Nano car project but faced protests from farmers, who refused to part with their land.The team led by Tata Motors’ managing director G. Ravi Kant and accompanied by officials of the state revenue department visited Seetarampuram and Aluru villages in 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 of land 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.

The farmers made it clear they would not surrender their land 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.

The protest by farmers and local people in Singur in West Bengal has forced Tata Motors to pull out from there.

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

The 10-member team later returned to the state capital to meet Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who is ready to offer any concession to wrangle the Nano project for the state.

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

The government announced huge sops Friday to attract the prestigious project.

Besides allotment of land at concessional rates, the state is offering 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 sops announced Friday by the state are part of the government’s ultra mega integrated automobile policy and are on par with those announced by the Tamil Nadu government.

Under this policy, the government will provide incentives to automobile projects, either new or those under expansion, which are ready to invest not less than Rs.40 billion.

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