Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Farewell to the Tatas: Costs and benefits of the Tata-Singur Project, a detailed dissection of the deal

October 3, 2008
By Dipankar Basu, Sanhati. Open for comments
Summary of findings:
Costs: the total cost of the Tata-Singur project incurred by the exchequer, and hence ultimately the tax payers, will be approximately be Rs. 3000 crores on a net present value basis when we add up the costs pertaining to the land subsidy, the tax holidays, the soft loan, the real estate gift and the subsidized electricity using an interest rate of 11%. This is about 58% of the total realized industrial investment in the state of West Bengal in 2007.
Benefits: Maximum cap of 12,000 direct jobs with 10% unskilled employment, minus employment destruction. The other claim about the Singur project generating prospective investment in the future rests on equally shaky foundations. The question really boils down to whether the Tata plant can attract other major investments and lead to an industrial rejuvenation of Bengal. The example of Jamshedpur in neighbouring Jharkhand should be carefully looked at. Tata’s factories in Jamshedpur did nothing for the overall industrialization of the state of Bihar or now Jharkhand. It remained an enclave of industrial activity, without forging strong forward or backward linkages in neighbouring areas.
Tata’s net worth versus what they demand from tax-payers: If we add up the figures for the Tata Group’s overseas acquisitions, we arrive at a rough figure of $14,062 million, which converts to roughly Rs. 56,248 crore (using an exchange rate of Rs 40/$), and this is not even a complete list of Tata’s recent acquisitions. And, what does all this lead to? It inevitably leads us to the conclusion that a corporation which can invest more than Rs. 56,000 crores for acquisition of strategic foreign corporate assets requires the financial support of India’s impoverished taxpayers, to the tune of Rs. 1140 crores in real terms, to set up a small car manufacturing plant in India!
A discussion of TINA is given.
Cost and Benfits
The Agreement
Land “Acquisition” and Use
Total Cost of the Project
Hidden Land Subsidy
Cost of Circumventing the Law
Soft Loans and Tax
More Gifts from Santa: Real Estate and Subsidized Electricity
Adding up the Costs
What are the Benefits?
Oh! So Poor Tata
TINA Logic
Agreement between Tata Motors Ltd., Government of West Bengal and WBIDC
Singur stands for many, often contradictory, things. It stands for the model of neoliberal industrialization that the Indian state is trying to push down the throats of it’s citizens at the behest of big capital. It stands for the unprincipled and populist politics of dormant right-wing forces. It stands for the abject surrender of an erstwhile communist party to the dictates of capital, the full flowering of a tendency that surfaced in the Indian political firmament circa 1967. But Singur also stands for the struggle of labour against capital, decidedly in confused and masked manners, but a struggle that has the potential to galvanize resistance against neoliberalism. When the Tata Group, forced by the long-standing struggle of the small farmers and landless labourers in Singur, was reported to be planning a move to Pantnagar in Uttarakhand, there were simultaneous reports of a possible Singur waiting for them in Pantnagar. A Singur in Pantnagar! That is the real significance of the struggle of the landless labourers and peasants of Singur.
Right from day one, the West Bengal government and the mainstream media has been building up the case for the manufacturing plant in Singur on the basis of half-truths and untruths. For a long time, the West Bengal government continued denying the fact that it had “acquired” a large tract of the proposed 1000 acres from unwilling farmers by using coercion, strong-arm tactics and certainly without their consent. Towards the later part of 2006, after considerable protests and a public hearing organized by intellectuals and activists, it had to finally accept it’s own earlier statements as false. Now it is known by all and sundry that 411.11 acres of the total 997.1 acres has been acquired without consent of the relevant farmers. For a long time, again, the West Bengal government continued denying the fact that most of the land that was sought to be “acquired” was fertile and multi-cropped agricultural land. It was only when earlier this year the Supreme Court pointed towards a possible violation of the Land Acquisition Act, responding to a petition filed for immediate halt of the Nano car project, that the West Bengal government finally accepted that it had been willfully misleading the public in this regard for so long; the SC had pointed out that acquiring and using fertile, multi-crop agricultural land for industrial purposes goes against even the Land Acquisition Act, which the West Bengal government was, paradoxically, trying to use to “acquire” that land. Now it has been established beyond any shadow of doubt that the land on which the proposed plant is to come up is, in the main, fertile, multi-cropped agricultural land. Another myth that had been in circulation for some time was the following: the land in Singur could not be used for agricultural purposes for most parts of the year because of water logging. This claim has also been contested and shown to be untrue. Now it is accepted by all serious commentators that the land had, before being fenced off by the West Bengal police, been in constant use throughout the year for growing various agricultural crops, and that it provided livelihood for more than 12,000 families. Even though these and other such claims of the West Bengal government and the mainstream media have been refuted point by point, over and over again, with facts and arguments and lot of patience and care, they keep turning up ever and ever again like bad coins. They will, as long as the social forces whose interest they represent continue their efforts to hegemonize society; and we will continue refuting them point by point, with patience and care and logic and facts.
But even when these particular canards are discounted, there seems to be a larger argument for industrialization that Singur purportedly represents. The West Bengal government and large sections of the mainstream media tend to equate Singur with industrialization and portray any and every opposition to Singur as opposition to industrialization. The apparent strength, or shall we say charm, of this argument becomes obvious when we see even an preeminent thinker like Amartya Sen falling for it. But this argument is deeply flawed. Opposition to Singur is not opposition to industrialization, it is opposition to neoliberal capitalist industrialization. Opposition to Singur is opposition to the conflation of industrialization with neoliberalism, a scenario where the State steps up it’s efforts to subsidize capital and shore up it’s profits while capital externalizes it’s costs onto labour and the environment with impunity. It is this model of industrialization that we oppose.
An alternative model of industrialization, as far as we can see, would operate in an exactly opposite fashion. It would tax capital and not subsidize it, prevent capital from externalizing it’s costs onto labour and the environment rather than facilitating it, intervene in decisions related to the choice of technique to be used in production, force private capital to do proper cost-benefit analysis before embarking on a (socially) costly industrial project, intervene through fiscal and monetary policy to maintain overall levels of aggregate demand and try to ensure full employment with living wages for workers. In the alternative vision, the State would use tax revenues to build infrastructure, provide social sector services and closely monitor and improve the well-being of the people. Singur, and the model of industrialization that it stands, takes us in the exact opposite direction; that is why it needs to be opposed. It destroys livelihoods tied to agriculture without creating compensating jobs in industry, it willfully snatches away fertile, multi-crop agricultural land for industrial purposes when so much fallow (and other unused and misused) land is there to be used, it externalizes the costs of production on the most vulnerable sections of the population and the environment, and all this while the State steps in to massively subsidize private capital even further. If, therefore, due to the struggle of the project affected people the Tata’s finally leave West Bengal, it should call for rejoicing not for middle-class chest-beating that is so much on display these days. For it would be one of the important victories in the emerging struggle against neoliberalism in India.Cost and Benfits
In this article we will try to study details of the costs and benefits of the proposed manufacturing plant in Singur on the basis of information that is available in the public domain. But a caveat is necessary. This is not a full blown cost-benefit analysis because we shall not venture to quantify the indirect benefits of possible net employment generation and the income that might arise from there. At this point, it is not even clear whether there will be positive net employment generation; it is not at all obvious, in other words, that the employment destruction entailed by the project will be exceeded by the employment generated by it. Moreover, a full cost-benefit analysis would require much more information than has presently been made available by the West bengal government; on the basis of the available information, which pertains mostly to the benfits that the West Bengal government plans to make available to the Tata’s, we shall mainly try to approximately quantify the costs to the exchequer, and ultimately to the people of the state.
A careful study of the details relating to the proposed project in Singur, to the extent possible by the publicly available information, is important for two main reasons. First, it is important to do a dispassionate analysis of the costs and benefits of this project; since the West Bengal government has been continually making largely unsubstantiated claims about the putative benefits of this project, it is high time we carefully analyzed the foundations of this claim. Second, this project is very much in line with the current trend of neoliberal capitalist industrialization in India anchored tightly in the visions of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs); hence a study of this project will highlight, and help us evaluate, many of the important characteristics of neoliberal capitalist industrialization that has been envisioned and aggressively pushed by the Indian state since the early 1990s. Parenthetically, one should also note how acceptance of the logic this project signals the gradual dissolving of social democracy in India: from”managing” the conflict between labour and capital, social democrats are increasingly moving towards “managing” labour for capital.
The main document that we will use for the purposes of this study is the text of the recent “agreement” signed between the Government of West Bengal, the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and the Tata Motor Ltd. (TML) pertaining to the proposed manufacturing plant in Singur. By a careful analysis of the information contained in this document, and complementing this with some more information from other sources we will, hopefully, be able to arrive at a true picture of the costs and benefits of this project. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of the agreement, let us remind ourselves about the severe difficulties that we have faced over the past few years in just trying to get hold of the information that is relevant to this project. Recall that the details of the “deal” wasn’t made public initially because the West Bengal government believed it was a “trade secret”. Once this argument was properly trashed, the government shifted gears. During this period, it wasn’t made public despite repeated Right To Information (RTI) applications because, according to the government, the Tatas didn’t want it to be made public! Finally what has been made public, mainly because of pressure from the standing committee on industry of the West Bengal state assembly, are only parts of the “deal”; this all we have for the purposes of study and analysis. The TML filed a case in the Calcutta High Court and got a stay against the rest of it being made public. What is there in the rest of it? We, and the more than 12000 project affected families in Singur, can only guess. The entire episode, to say the least, is patently undemocratic, and makes a mockery of the intent of the recently passed Right to Information Act. One does not, of course, discern even an iota of concern about this important matter displayed by the “peoples’ government” in West Bengal!

To read the entire article click Farewell to the Tatas: Costs and benefits of the Tata-Singur Project, a detailed dissection of the deal at Sanhati

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

Aditya Chakrabortty ,The Guardian

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
The figure emphatically contradicts the US government's claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.
Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.
"It would put the World Bank in a political hot-spot with the White House," said one yesterday.
The news comes at a critical point in the world's negotiations on biofuels policy. Leaders of the G8 industrialised countries meet next week in Hokkaido, Japan, where they will discuss the food crisis and come under intense lobbying from campaigners calling for a moratorium on the use of plant-derived fuels.
It will also put pressure on the British government, which is due to release its own report on the impact of biofuels, the Gallagher Report. The Guardian has previously reported that the British study will state that plant fuels have played a "significant" part in pushing up food prices to record levels. Although it was expected last week, the report has still not been released.
"Political leaders seem intent on suppressing and ignoring the strong evidence that biofuels are a major factor in recent food price rises," said Robert Bailey, policy adviser at Oxfam. "It is imperative that we have the full picture. While politicians concentrate on keeping industry lobbies happy, people in poor countries cannot afford enough to eat."
Rising food prices have pushed 100m people worldwide below the poverty line, estimates the World Bank, and have sparked riots from Bangladesh to Egypt. Government ministers here have described higher food and fuel prices as "the first real economic crisis of globalisation".
President Bush has linked higher food prices to higher demand from India and China, but the leaked World Bank study disputes that: "Rapid income growth in developing countries has not led to large increases in global grain consumption and was not a major factor responsible for the large price increases."
Even successive droughts in Australia, calculates the report, have had a marginal impact. Instead, it argues that the EU and US drive for biofuels has had by far the biggest impact on food supply and prices.
Since April, all petrol and diesel in Britain has had to include 2.5% from biofuels. The EU has been considering raising that target to 10% by 2020, but is faced with mounting evidence that that will only push food prices higher.
"Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate," says the report. The basket of food prices examined in the study rose by 140% between 2002 and this February. The report estimates that higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15%, while biofuels have been responsible for a 75% jump over that period.
It argues that production of biofuels has distorted food markets in three main ways. First, it has diverted grain away from food for fuel, with over a third of US corn now used to produce ethanol and about half of vegetable oils in the EU going towards the production of biodiesel. Second, farmers have been encouraged to set land aside for biofuel production. Third, it has sparked financial speculation in grains, driving prices up higher.
Other reviews of the food crisis looked at it over a much longer period, or have not linked these three factors, and so arrived at smaller estimates of the impact from biofuels. But the report author, Don Mitchell, is a senior economist at the Bank and has done a detailed, month-by-month analysis of the surge in food prices, which allows much closer examination of the link between biofuels and food supply.
The report points out biofuels derived from sugarcane, which Brazil specializes in, have not had such a dramatic impact.
Supporters of biofuels argue that they are a greener alternative to relying on oil and other fossil fuels, but even that claim has been disputed by some experts, who argue that it does not apply to US production of ethanol from plants.
"It is clear that some biofuels have huge impacts on food prices," said Dr David King, the government's former chief scientific adviser, last night. "All we are doing by supporting these is subsidising higher food prices, while doing nothing to tackle climate change."

Hidden Costs of the Tata-Singur Agreement

By Dipankar Basu, Sanhati

The Tata Group of Companies is one of the largest business conglomerates in India today with about 100 large companies in its fold. With the might of the Indian State firmly behind it, monopoly capital in India has started a move to aggressively acquire foreign assets. In the last few years, the Tata Group has been leading this acquisition spree on behalf of Indian big capital, making forays not only in Asia and Africa but also in the heartland of world capitalism: USA and Europe. Let us briefly take a look at the record of the Tata Group with regard to foreign acquisitions.
In January 2007, the Tata Group pulled off India’s biggest ever takeover of a foreign company to buy Anglo-Dutch steel-maker Corus for $12 billion; this acquisition made the combined entity (Tata-Corus) the world’s fifth largest producer of steel. In March 2004, the Tata Group acquired South Korea’s Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company for $102 million; this was followed by the acquisition of a 21 percent stake in Spanish bus maker Hispano Carrocera for $18 million with an option to pick up the remaining stake at a later date. Around the same time, Tata Technologies, another company in the Tata fold, which provides automotive engineering and design services, bought Britain’s Incat International for $53 million.
Tata Consultancy Services, which was earlier a division of Tata Sons and a rising star in the Tata Group, has been among the most aggressive shoppers for foreign companies. It has acquired six companies in the past few years, with the net value of the deals close to $100 million; these include FNS of Australia, which was acquired for $26 million and Chile’s outsourcing major Comicrom, which was bought for $23 million. When the Tata Group acquired the former state-run, international telecom carrier, VSNL, a few years ago, it was on it’s way to becoming a major telecom player in the global markets. To enhance it’s position, it acquired undersea cable company Tyco of the US for $130 million, Internet service provider Dishnet’s India division for $64.28 million and international telecom service provider Teleglobe of the US for $239 million.
Following its acquisition of Hindustan Lever Chemicals, Tata Chemicals was on the lookout for a steady supply of phosphoric acid for its newly acquired plant at Haldia, West Bengal. Accordingly, it took over two overseas companies for a total value of $215 million: Indo Maroc Phosphore of Morocco in March 2005 and Brunner Mond Group of Britain in December 2007. Morocco, by the way, produces over 50 percent of the world’s rock phosphate.
In 2000, Tata Tea bought British giant Tetley for a $407 million, and started looking for similar deals to strenghthen it’s global position in the tea and related drinks business. This search led to acquisition of 33 percent stake in the South African company Joekels Tea Packers for an undisclosed amount and 30 percent stake in the US-based favoured water manufacturer Glaceau for $677 million, the acquisition of the US-based Good Earth Corp for $32 million and acquisition of the Czech Republic’s firm Jemca for an unknown amount.
India Hotels, the hotel branch of the Tata Group, acquired several hotels abroad for $121 million in the past few years. It is reported to have set aside $100 million for future acquisitions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. In December 2006, it had acquired W, a hotel at the Woolloomooloo Bay in Sydney; it was followed by the taking over of the management of The Pierre, a luxurious landmark hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue. India Hotels, which runs the Taj Group of hotels, has 39 hotels in India and 18 worldwide. A recent acquisition of India Hotels was Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco
This is not a complete list; it is just a representative list of the Tata Group’s recent foreign acquisitions. It is only meant to provide some ballpark figures about the amount that the Tata Group has spent in the last few years in expanding it’s business abroad and in acquisition of costly strategic corporate assets. This decidedly incomplete information about the Tata Groups `acquisition spree’ is also meant to serve as an introduction to the agreement that was recently signed by the West Bengal Government and Tata Motors Ltd. (TML) for setting up `a manufacturing Plant for Automobile Products’ in Police Station Singur of District Hoogly in West Bengal. If we add up the figures for Tata Group’s overseas acquisitions, we arrive at a rough figure of $14,062 million, which converts to roughly Rs. 56,248 crore (using an exchange rate of Rs 40/$).
Of course what this implies is that a corporation which can invest more than Rs. 56,000 crores for acquisition of foreign companies requires the financial support of India’s taxpayers to set up a plant in India!
Because that is what the recently concluded agreement between the TML and the West Bengal government boils down to. Take point 7(a) of the agreement as an example. This refers to the loans that the WBIDC will give to the TML in the form of tax holidays for 30 years (i.e., TML will not have to pay the usual taxes to the WB government for about 30 years). The loan will be essentially at a nominal interest rate of 0%, which is just another way of saying that the TML gets a loan at negative real interest rates (i.e., negative of the annual rate of inflation). So, in real terms the WBIDC will not only give a loan to the TML but will also pay interest to TML for the loan that it has given to the TML! From the perspective of TML, it would be difficult to think of a better example of `having the cake and eating it too’. But make no mistake. This largesse to the corporate sector is essential if we are to embark on a path of industrialization. Or so the West Bengal government would have us believe.
The last part of 7(a) seems even better. It says: `WBIDC will ensure that the loan under this head is paid within 60 days of the close of the previous year (on 31st March) failing which WBIDC will be liable to compensate TML for the financial inconvenience caused @ 1.5 times the bank rate prevailing at the time on the amount due for the period of such delay’. What does this mean?
It means that if the WBIDC is not able to make the loan to TML within 60 days of the close of the financial year, it will penalise ITSELF by compensating TML at 1.5 times the bank rate. Wonderful! And what is the interest rate charged on the loan? 0%. Fantastic. What if TML is not able or willing to pay back the loan? Doesn’t matter. WBIDC will move on. There is no mention of any penalty that might be slapped on TML for failure to pay back the loan (principal or interest)! Any collateral? No. This is `prudent banking’ at it’s best! But make no mistake. This novel and ultimately unbeatable form of prudent banking is essential if West Bengal is to embark on the path of industrialization. Or so the West Bengal government would have us believe.
But there is more. 7(c) of the agreement says: `The West Bengal Govt. will provide TML a loan of 200 crores @ 1% interest per year repayable in 5 equal installments starting from the 21st year from the date of the disbursement of the loan’. This loan, moreover, `will be disbursed within 60 days of this agreement’. This loan will not only cover the payments that TML has to make for the 645.6 acres of land that has been given to it by the government but also cover it’s other possible costs of setting up the plant and starting operations; and the real interest rate is again negative! Then there is the `virtual gift of 650 acres of prime land to Tata Housing Development Company (THDC) in Rajarhat New Town and in the adjoining Bhangar Rajarhat Area Development Authority for building an IT and residential township along with WBIDC as a partner‘, which was portrayed as `infrastructural support’ for the Singur project!
It is important, therefore, for us to recognize the true character of agreements like the one `struck’ between the TML and the West Bengal government. It is important to understand how such `agreements’ look like under a neo-liberal regime. It is important for left and progressive activists, but also the concerned citizens, to realize that all such agreements essentially are geared towards the State effectively subsidizing capital with the revenues earned from direct and indirect taxes, which anyway the corporate entities always try to avoid paying. As has been demonstrated, the Tata Group has enough resources to buy out European and US firms, but when it comes to `industrializing’ a poor state like West Bengal, it requires soft loans (with effectively negative interest rates) and other subsidies like tax exemptions to even consider making `investments’. One must ask the functionaries of the West Bengal government whether this is industrialization or exploitation? It seems to us that the entire TML-Singur project is a net loss for the people of West Bengal. This is simply because the losses are direct, immediate and tangible (with the money going out of the exchequer, revenue loss in terms of tax rebates, loss of agricultural land and loss of livelihoods) whereas the gains are intangible and at the moment residing in the realm of possibility (possible employment generation, possible investment-friendly image and what not).
Agreement between Tata Motors Ltd., Government of West Bengal and WBIDC
1. Tata Motors Ltd. (TML) was intending to set up a manufacturing Plant for Automobile Products including “Tata Small Car” to manufacture 250,000 cars per annum on 2 shift basis which could be expanded to 350,000 on 3 shift basis. In addition, it would have several Vendors and act as a mother plant for many aggregates to tune of 500,000 cars. In this connection, TML was considering locating the plant in the States of Uttarakhand/ Himachal Pradesh in view of the fiscal incentive package for the rapid industrialization being made available by the Govt. of India to new Industries in these States which has been attracting a large number of industries to these States. The incentive package in Uttarakhand/Himachal Pradesh consists of:-(a) 100% exemption from Excise Duty for 10 years.(b) 100% exemption from Corporate Income Tax for first 5 years and 30% exemption from Corporate Income Tax for next 5 years.
2. The Government of West Bengal (GoWB) is keen to take appropriate steps for rapid industrialization in West Bengal and in this connection wanted to attract some major Automobile Projects to the State. The Government of West Bengal approached TML to persuade them to locate an Automobile Project including the project to manufacture “Tata Small Car” in West Bengal. TML showed interest in locating the plant in West Bengal, provided the State gave Fiscal incentive equivalent to the value of total incentives it would have received by locating the plant in Uttarakhand / Himachal Pradesh. GoWB offered to match the financial incentives in equivalent terms and invited TML to set up the Small Car plant in West Bengal entailing investment of over Rs. 1500 crores by TML. In addition, Vendors supporting the project are likely to make further investment of over Rs. 500 crores.
3. Since then numerous discussions have been held and based on this understanding, GoWB proceeded with identification of various lands for this mega project. Land of approximately 1000 acres chosen in P. S. Singur of District Hooghly was finalized with TML. West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (WBIDC) commenced the process of acquisition of this land. The process was completed with the Declaration of Award under Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act, and thereafter WBIDC has obtained mutation of ownership in its name in the Record-of-Rights, and conversion of usage of the land from agriculture to factory.
4. WBIDC is in possession of 997.11 acres of land, which has been acquired under the Land Acquisition Act. Out of this, an area admeasuring 645.67 acres will be leased to TML for setting up the Automobile Project including the small car plant, while an area admeasuring 290 acres will be leased to the vendors to this Automobile Project approved by TML (ancillary and component manufacturing units), 14.33 acres will be handed over by WBIDC to WBSEB only for construction of 220/132/33 KV substation and the balance admeasuring 47.11 acres will be used by WBIDC for rehabilitation activities for the needy families amongst the Project affected persons.
5. The terms of lease to TML for the 645.67 acres of land for the mother plant are described below. In addition, WBIDC will provide on lease 290 acres of land to the Vendors selected and approved by TML on payment of Premium equal to the actual cost of acquisition plus incidentals, to be calculated on the basis of the total acquisition cost and other incidental expenses expended by WBIDC or any of its subsidiaries (duly certified by its auditor) averaged over the total land acquired. The lease rental payable per year per acre by the vendors will be Rs. 8000/- per acre for the first 45 (forty five) years and Rs. 16000/- per acre for the next 45 (forty five) years. The initial lease tenure will be 90 years. On expiry of 90 years, the lease terms will be fixed on mutually agreed terms at that point of time.
6. The parties also discussed mutually to finalise the package of incentives required in order to enable GoWB to fulfill its commitment to match in equivalent financial terms the fiscal incentive foregone by TML in Uttarakhand. The Net Present Value (NPV) computation of benefits that the project would have received in Uttarakhand is attached in Annexure I which is agreed to by all the parties. Sample computation of benefits in West Bengal with stated assumptions is given in Annexure II which is accepted by all parties as agreed basis of computation. The NPV is calculated @ 11%.7. Accordingly, it is finally agreed, in supersession of all previous decisions and agreements in this regard, that for this mega project, the fiscal incentives under Industrial Promotion Assistance in terms of the West Bengal Incentive Scheme (WBIS 2004), assistance towards land cost and interest subsidy in the form of a loan against a quantum of the term loan to be taken by TML for this project will be offered by GoWB as follows:-
(a) WBIDC will provide Industrial Promotion Assistance in the form of a Loan to TML at 0.1% interest per annum for amounts equal to gross VAT and CST received by GoWB in each of the previous years ended 31st March on sale of “Tata Small Car” from the date of commencement of sales of the small car. This benefit will continue till the balance amount of the Uttarakhand benefit (after deducting the amount as stated in para 7b and 7c below) is reached on net present value basis, after which it shall be discontinued. The loan with interest will be repayable in annual installments starting from 31st year of commencement of sale from the plant. The loan availed in the first year will be repaid in the 31st year and the loan availed in the 2nd year will be repaid in the 32nd year and so on. WBIDC will ensure that the loan under this head is paid within 60 days of the close of the previous year (on 31st March) failing which WBIDC will be liable to compensate TML for the financial inconvenience caused @ 1.5 times the bank rate prevailing at the time on the amount due for the period of such delay. TML & GoWB will make best efforts to maximize sale of products from the “Small Car Plant” in the State of West Bengal.
(b) WBIDC will provide 645.67 acres of Land to Tata Motors Ltd on a 90 year lease, on an annual lease rental of Rs. 1 crore per year for first 5 years with an increase @ 25% after every 5 years till 30 years. On expiry of 30 years, the lease rental will be fixed at Rs. 5 crores per year, with an increase @ 30% after every 10 years till the 60th year. On the expiry of 60 years, the lease rental will be fixed at Rs. 20 crores per year, which will remain unchanged till the 90th year. On expiry of 90 years the lease terms will be fixed on mutually agreed terms at that point of time. The benefit on account of land would be calculated as the total land area leased out to TML multiplied by the cost of acquisition calculated in the manner as provided in para 5 less NPV of rent payable during 60 years.(c) The West Bengal Govt. will provide to TML a loan of Rs. 200 crores bearing @ 1% interest per year repayable in 5 equal annual installments starting from the 21st year from the date of disbursement of loan. This loan will be disbursed within 60 days of signing of this Agreement.
(d) The West Bengal Government will provide Electricity for the project at Rs. 3/- per KWH. In case of more than Rs. 0.25 per KWH increase in tariff in every block of five years, the Government will provide relief through additional compensation to neutralize such additional increase.
8. It is also agreed that the computation of the comparison of benefits in Annexure I and II will be changed if there are any changes in the rates of excise duty and corporate income tax during the next 10 years.

A conversation with Amit Bhaduri: alternatives in development

From Sanhati.com

A few of us had a discussion with Professor Amit Bhaduri on his concept of “Development with Dignity”. In the struggle of ordinary people against the aggression of big capital in our country, this concept provides a vibrant locus of activity and future direction. It may also be important in the broader aim of social change. We present a draft of our conversation.
- Meher Engineer, Rabin Chakraborty, Subhasis Mukhopadhyay, Soumya Guha Thakurta, Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri
Click here to read A conversation with Amit Bhaduri: alternatives in development [PDF, Bengali, 2.3 MB] »

A conversation with Amit Bhaduri: alternatives in development

From Sanhati.com

A few of us had a discussion with Professor Amit Bhaduri on his concept of “Development with Dignity”. In the struggle of ordinary people against the aggression of big capital in our country, this concept provides a vibrant locus of activity and future direction. It may also be important in the broader aim of social change. We present a draft of our conversation.
- Meher Engineer, Rabin Chakraborty, Subhasis Mukhopadhyay, Soumya Guha Thakurta, Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri
Click here to read A conversation with Amit Bhaduri: alternatives in development [PDF, Bengali, 2.3 MB] »