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China's FAW keen on auto manufacturing unit in West Bengal

Date:2009-04-14

First Automobile Works (FAW) of China has evinced an interest to set up an automobile manufacturing unit in West Bengal. A FAW delegation 
on Monday called on chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Writers' Buildings.

Earlier in November 2008, senior FAW officials had visited the Tata Motors' abandoned project site at Singur to explore the possibility of setting up an automobile unit there. FAW can also hold talks with the Tata Motors to take the abandoned Nano site in future.

A senior official of the chief minister's secretariat told newsmen after the meeting: "FAW is yet to submit a formal proposal to the state government, but it is interested in setting up an automobile unit in West Bengal. The company officials have already visited Singur and liked the site. They have informed us that around 600 acres would be needed for setting up the unit. They can also hold talks with Tata Motors to take the abandoned facility of the latter at Singur."

However, since the state government leased over the 645.67 acres for 90 years to Tata Motors at Singur, FAW could not directly take over the land from Tata Motors. If Tata Motors returns land to the state government FAW can approach the state government for possession of the land. However, state commerce and industries secretary Sabyasachi Sen said that if Tata Motors wanted to continue the lease, which is renewable in every year, the state government will not have any objection. Tata Motors will have to pay its annual lease rental by mid-June.

Regarding the visit of five-member FAW delegation, Sen said, "The company is now conducting a study on the Indian market. After completing the study, FAW will submit a proposal to the state government."

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