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Forget Nano, Chinese car maker eyes Bengal

A cautious Bengal government has included Singur on a list of sites being weighed by communist China’s largest automobile maker for a car plant.

Representatives of First Automobile Works (FAW) today called on chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and industries minister Nirupam Sen at the Writers’ Buildings.

“FAW is China’s largest automobile manufacturing company and has shown interest in setting up an automobile unit in Bengal. It will make all kinds of cars, including heavy vehicles,” Sen said.

Asked if the Singur plot would be given to the company, he said: “We discussed all possible locations, including Singur. But don’t spoil the project’s prospects by mentioning Singur as a possible location.”

The plot in Singur was developed for Tata Motors’ Nano plant but the project moved to Gujarat after land agitation by the Opposition. Sites in Kalyani, Haldia and Kharagpur were also discussed with the FAW delegation.

FAW Corporation and Ural India want to set up a joint venture to manufacture small cars and buses. The plan is to make 5,000 small cars a month priced at Rs 1.6 lakh each, said J.K. Saraff, chairman of Ural India, which makes heavy trucks in Haldia especially for the defence sector. Tata’s Nano has captured the world’s imagination because of its price: Rs 1 lakh.

“We need 600 acres,” Saraff said. “Today’s discussion was a preliminary one.”

Asked if he wanted the land in Singur, Saraff said the state would have to decide that. “One advantage in Singur is that the land is developed. But at the same time, it is not vacant. It has been leased out to another company.”

He said the ancillary plants could come up elsewhere. The location of the Nano project’s ancillary units had become a bone of contention, with Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee demanding they be moved out of the main project area and their part of the land be returned to “unwilling” landlosers.

An official in the chief minister’s secretariat said FAW had an annual manufacturing capacity of 20 lakh cars. “It will be good if such a foreign auto giant comes to the state. The company’s officials may shortly visit some of the possible locations for a spot inspection,” he said.

The 15-member Chinese team, led by Li Xiansheng, executive governor of Hubei province in China, also met urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya and power minister Mrinal Banerjee.

“We discussed many things with the chief minister, including investment opportunities in Bengal. The purpose of our visit is to promote co-operation between the countries,” Xiansheng said.

Power minister Banerjee said the delegation had shown interest in investing in the power sector. The Chinese officials discussed investment in infrastructure with the urban development minister.

FEW FACTS
Profile of the Chinese automobile company

Founded in 1953

Makes light, medium and heavy trucks, automobiles, buses and luxury tourist coaches, custom bus chassis and mini-vehicles

Global sales over 7 million

Employs 133,000 people across the world

Sells products in over 70 countries

Company’s assets valued at $14.27 billion

Source: FAW website & The Telegraph

Comments

  1. Vishal says:

    ron,

    What’s on earth is happening here ? The skies are falling upon us.

    Our beloved sister, Mamanta Banerjee, had only recently chased Tata Motors and their Nano dreams out of West Bengal after much struggles & bandhs and now our State Government is planning an offer to the Chinese ?

    What ? The Chinese. The evil Communists ? Why not anybody else but the Communist Chinese ?

    Wonder if our Government have lost their senses ? Look how Chinese citizens have since the British India period intruded into our motherland as refugees and now further try to take over our lands and industries.

    This is totally ridiculous and unacceptable. We cannot let this happen.

    Ma Kali, have grace on us. Let there be light over darkness. We cannot afford our land and industries go into evil hands.

    Not before long, the Deoli camps in Rajasthan may have to open up again for another new bunch of intruders.

    Lord Ganesh: Save us and save our souls.

    ron, any suggestions of what we can do ?

  2. ycl1688 says:

    ‘Not before long, the Deoli camps in Rajasthan may have to open up again for another new bunch of intruders.’

    You expected to fill the Rajasthan camp with chinese again, not in a thousand years.
    Those politicians sold their souls to soviet communists long ago, when Stalin grand daughter defected to the west, no longer are soviet citizens allowed to be defected on Indian soil and to add insult to injury 71 Bangladesh war economic treaty sign with Soviet rob the country blind.

    This time no savior can save you.

    Remember Mao stood at the declaration of PRC in 49 saying ‘the Chinese has risen’. This enough to send chill to everyone around the world. You can call me a communist sympathizer so be it.

  3. Kumar says:

    Sorry Vishal,

    Your friend, ron, cannot save his own soul, how do you think he will be able to save yours ?

    Not before long, before the Chinese Communists troop into township to help our motherland to build all kinds of cars, including heavy vehicles; ron should have already been living in Deoli, Rajasthan to enjoy the rest of his life in peace as India’s most patriotic son.

    As he said, he is to live & die in India – something he will not regret in a thousand years.

    Peace, brother. Ma Kali and Lord Ganesh will clean all immortal souls.