Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tata Nano : Singur to Maharashtra ?

Mamata Banerjee is at it again. Just when the first Tata Nano was being readied for the October launch she had to throw a spanner in the works. Where was Mamatadi when the project was conceived 6-7 years ago, why was she silent all this time and what made her suddenly "wake-up" + "take-up" the cause of the farmers ??? Obviously this is nothing but a desperate gimmick to stay in the news.

I understand she is demanding 400 of the allocated 997 acres be returned to the farmers unless the government doles out a significantly higher compensation to the farmers. The government has already paid the farmers INR 12 lacs per acre. Agreed that the land rates have gone up since ... but the rates would not have gone up without the Nano factory in any case. Land for such projects is always bought at prevelant rates during project commencement and its not possible to keep compensating owners for future price hikes !!!

The irony is that no one gains from this :

a) West Bengal as a state loses as no other big project / investments will come to the state in the near future if the Tatas withdraw now ... even if they dont this whole issue will be a huge disincentive for anyone considerig setting up shop in WB.

b) The farmers may get some short-term gains if there is a compromise ... but in case the project moves away from Singur the local population will surely lose out on long term development of the region.

c) The Tatas of course lose time, money and business opportunity ...

d) Mamatadi herself suffers credibility erosion for taking up a Lose-Lose-Lose ... cause. If only someone could drill some sense into her !!!

Not in a mood to relent ( and rightly so I think ) Tata Motors is already formulating Plan B ie. moving production base to a more hospitable state ... and many have already extended an open invitation. Wont be easy to uproot a factory and transplant it ... but knowing the Tatas they will do the right thing for the long-term rather than try to buy a short-term compromise.

West Bengal's loss could well be Maharashtra's gain.

1 comment:

  1. Its really sad to see some selfish politicians becoming such a huge obstruction in corporate development. These people just dont understand the fact that Nano has attracted attention from all over the world as a result if the Tatas decide to shift base, what a pathetic impression it would leave on the global stage. Whats worse is the fact that the farmers whose land has been used for the plant costruction have no problems with it, yet people like Mamata Banerjee are admant on their stance.