More investment in WB if there's no hostility against us: Tata

Ratan Tata
Kolkata, Aug 30: Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata today (Aug 30) said that further investments in West Bengal would be made when there is a "feeling to satisfy that there is no hostility against us".

"When there is a feeling to satisfy that there is no hostility against us, we will invest in the state," Tata said at the annual general meeting of Tata Global Beverages (formerly Tata Tea) here.

"We have several investments in West Bengal. Tata Steel has certain investments in the state along with TCS and India Hotels. New investments will come when opportunities arise," he said.

Replying to shareholders who raised the issue of Singur at the meet, Tata said the Nano plant was set up without any ulterior motive "but to come to a place ignored by the industry for long and fondness for the people for West Bengal".

After coming to power in May, the new government under Mamata Banerjee passed the Singur Land Development and Rehabilitation Act to repossess the land from the Tata Motors which was subsequently challenged in the Calcutta High Court.

Asked whether there was a possibility for an out-of-court settlement on Singur, Tata said, "It is in the court today. I cannot make comment and allocation of land should not be made before the court takes any decision."

"A legal government gave us the land. We could have created 8,000 jobs had the plant become operational. We are not the owners of the land. We are the lessee," Tata said.

When a shareholder asked whether the Tatas were willing to talk to the farmers directly, he said, "Since we do not own the land, they should talk to the government and not us."

"The land does not belong to us, but leased by the government which is different from what it is today."

Tata said that setting up a cancer hospital in the state showed the affection of the group towards West Bengal.

"The hospital will save lives of people of West Bengal and the region and will also bring Kolkata in the limelight of cancer research," he said.


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