It’s now official. Tatas have decided to roll out the Nano car from Gujarat. The air was thick with anticipation as top Tata Motors honchos flew down from Mumbai late on Monday evening to take one final look at the site near Sanand, 25 kms from the western fringes of Ahmedabad, which has been identified for relocation of the Nano plant.
Sources said the decks have been cleared for transfer of 1,000 acres of land to the Tatas. Modi’s council of ministers will meet at 10 am before the Tata team arrives. The land which the Tatas have to finally select is located within a 2200-acre campus owned by the Anand Agriculture University which serves as a cattle and seed farm.
The university has already transferred 1,000 acres back to the government which went into an overdrive to woo Tata Motors ever since the situation started worsening at Singur in West Bengal. Government officials were hopeful that the deal will be clinched on Tuesday, after a final round of negotiations on the concessions Tata Motors will be seeking.
While Modi has been personally averse to giving concessions to industry, on the ground that such concessions given in the past had led to a huge loss of revenue to the exchequer, there is willingness to make an exception in the case of the Nano project.
“We had to relax our rigid stand considering the fact that other state governments were going all out to roll the red carpet for the Nano plant. Losses due to concessions would be offset by the immense positivity created around the investment climate in Gujarat,” a senior official of the industries department said, while admitting that there could be a tough last round of negotiations.
While Tata Motors’ scouts were scouring sites in Karnataka, AP and Maharashtra over the last two days, there was an air of tentativeness in the Sachivalaya at Gandhinagar, even as officials went about clearing all the documents to transfer 1,000 acres in one go. “Our biggest advantage is that we can hand over the land to Tata Motors on Tuesday itself,” a source said.