Assam preparing to woo Tatas' Nano

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Guwahati, Aug 29 (UNI) With the impasse over Tata's Nano plant in Singur showing no signs of being resolved too soon, Assam has initiated moves to jump into the bandwagon of states wooing the Tatas.

"Assam has been following the developments closely and we have already held discussions on the possibility of offering Ratan Tata with our state as an alternative option in the eventuality of his deciding to pull out of Singur," government spokesperson and Industries minister Pradyut Bordoloi told UNI today.

Opposition AGP MP Sarbananda Sonowal and AASU advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya have also pitched in their support for such an initiative, promising to lend all support.

The special economic packages and incentives Assam enjoys under the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2007, could be the biggest advantage for the state.

Mr Bordoloi informed that the Assam government was already studying the pros and cons of inviting the Tata Nano plant and the implications it would have.

"We don't want to roll the red carpet out in a hurry and then be faced with problems that West Bengal is encountering now," Mr Bordoloi added.

He pointed that the issue of locating the required land for the Nano plant was the most significant consideration for the government and it was in the process of locating it.

"The government has already allotted over 2,400 acres of land for the knowledge city on the outskirts of Guwahati. But we are in a fast mode in locating land for the Nano plant," he added.

The minister said, "We are keeping our options open and hope to come out with an alternative plan for the Tatas." Mr Sonowal, stressing on the need for the state government's urgent move to invite the Tatas with a detailed plan, said, "If the government can bring the Nano plant, it would be highly beneficial for the state as well as the entire NE region.

The government should highlight the special industrial incentives here and make an all-out effort to bring them," he added.

Bhattacharyya of AASU also lent his support and said, "such a success by the government would help not just the industrial sector but also solve our unemployment problems to a great extent." Production activity was altogether halted in the plant today and the West Bengal government was in desperate mode to retain the Tata plant, with Ratan Tata reported to be holding parleys with other state governments.

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