This entry in Media Hall of Shame is regarding a shocking news report in Indian Express.
IE today in an article Modi accused of starting auto 'rat race' reports how Modi is stealing car projects from other states!
Surprisingly, the first example IE mentioned was how Tatas moved Singur Nano project Gujarat. According to IE,
It shocked the entire nation in general and India Inc in particular.
In the same breath the report also mentions in brackets
had just been booted out of Singur by Mamata Banerji-stirred controversy
Media watch is not sure what IE expected Tatas to do? Did they expect Tatas to shelve the project instead of moving to Gujarat. In an interview with Economic times this is what Ratan Tata had to say
we have been receiving letters from various state governments ever since we faced problems (at Singur). Land was the main issue. It was a kind of insurance (at the time). But there was a tremendous urgency once we made the statement on 22 August that we would move if things didn't improve as we had already lost a lot of time. We started to respond sometime in September to the offer from the states. We started running around looking at the land. The same people had to look at the land on offer (to make a proper comparison). The Gujarat chief minister moved really fast, and yesterday, we took the decision. In other states there were processes to be gone through or things which the legislative assembly had to do which may or may not happen despite the best intention of the chief minister of the state. Gujarat enjoys the reputation of being an investment-friendly state. So we decided late on Monday evening that we may as well go with Gujarat as everything was in place.
So if we believe Rata Tata, several State govts approached Tata for the Nano project. Narendra Modi won the project because he was more efficient! Is being efficient a negative trait? It is shocking the a national newspaper of IE stature instead of supporting good governance is running a campaign against it!
After Nano projects, IE cites example of Ford India and Hyundai who according to IE is planning to shift their expansion projects to Gujarat.
And, in this case at least, that has not gone down well with other states, in particular Tamil Nadu, which had played host to these foreign companies in the first place. In fact, the attitude is one of being 'cheated'.
Accusing the Gujarat government of starting a "rat race" by luring industries from other states, a Congress MP from Tamil Nadu today sought Centre's intervention in stalling the reported moves of Ford India and Hyundai to go out of the state for expansion projects.
It is surprising to see IE using language such as “In fact, the attitude is one of being 'cheated'.” What is the basis to substantiate this claim? Has IE done any survey to claim this or is it purely based on statement of one congress MP K S Alagiri?
However, IE failed to mention that both Ford and Hyundai have specific reason for evaluating their options outside Tamil Nadu.
According to reports; Hyundai Motor India has two manufacturing plants in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and Hyundai is not averse to setting up its third facility in Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh,despite the challenge of labour issues but according to Hyundai having a plant in Gujarat will give the company better access to northern and western India. Additionally, proximity to ports will enhance exports. Now is IE expecting companies to sacrifice their business interests on the altars of secularism?
Ford is having second thoughts on the same owing to the growing labour union problems in Tamil Nadu. In Gujarat, companies are not mandated to recognise labour unions. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, is mulling over enacting a law that requires companies to have a registered and recognised labour union as Maharashtra and West Bengal do.
On the issue of Labour disputes, IE shamelessly quotes congress MP K S Alagiri
Barring a few stray incidents, the industrial relations in the state have been satisfactory and there have been no strikes or lockouts in major industries in the state for the last several years, he said.
While the fact is All is not well on the industrial labour front in Tamil Nadu, with simmering discontent among workers in multinational companies leading to strikes and shutdowns. Labour problems at Hyundai Motor India flare up at regular intervals. The newly-formed workers union at Ford Motor India has written to the state government to intervene on its behalf. In 2006 TN saw 51 strikes and lockouts which went up to 66 in 2007, 86 in 2008 and then came down to 49 in 2009 due to which 2.10 lakh mandays were lost.
Lastly, there is a several power shortage in TamilNadu,. Tamil Nadu's power requirement is estimated at 7,177 MUs against an availability of 6,521 MUs leaving a shortage of 656 MUs. While Gujarat is a power surplus state. We are selling about 600 MW of power to other states
It is shocking and disgusting IE is playing into the hands of “secular” politicians and is taking positions which would be detrimental for overall wellbeing for the country.