An application of the Tata group for expansion of the automobile plant at Dharwad at a cost of nearly Rs. 2,300 crore has been approved by the State Cabinet.
Minister for Home and Law and Parliamentary Affairs M.P. Prakash, briefing presspersons on the decisions taken at a meeting of the Cabinet here on Monday, said the Tata proposal was to manufacture a wide range of light commercial and heavy vehicles.
With the proposed expansion, the Tata plant would emerge as one of the major industries in north Karnataka, and the Cabinet felt that it would assuage the feelings of people in the region who had hitherto felt that south Karnataka was a preferred industrial destination.
The Tata plant is located on 600 acres of land. The company has sought an additional 300 acres for expansion and this has been granted. According to the company, the employment potential of the plant will go up to 36,675 and its production capacity to 2.26 lakh vehicles a year.
With reference to Tata's request for adequate tax concessions on par with what had been granted to Toyota Kirloskar in Bangalore Rural district, the Cabinet decided to constitute a three-member official committee headed by the Chief Secretary to evaluate the request. The Cabinet is of the view that Tatas have to be given some long-term concessions.
In another important decision, the Cabinet approved compensation to sugarcane growers who had suffered crop losses either due to failure of crop or due to delay in harvesting arising out of sugar factories refusing to crush their crop. For every hectare of crop loss, a farmer would be paid Rs. 25,000 but with a ceiling of Rs. 1 lakh per grower. Further, the area to be covered under the compensation scheme would not be more than 10,000 hectares.
Mr. Prakash said the Cabinet had given permission for starting two new sugar factories.
It also permitted the expansion of Satish Sugars in Gokak taluk of Belgaum district the crushing capacity of which would be raised to 2,500 tonnes a day from 1,250 tonnes a day now.
A sugar factory of Keerthi Industries in Yadgir taluk of Gulbarga district with a crushing capacity of 3,500 tonnes a day has been approved.
The Rs. 150-crore unit will have a 26-MW cogeneration power plant and will crush 13 lakh tonnes of sugarcane grown in 24 villages of the taluk annually.
The Cabinet also granted permission to Ugar Sugars at Jewargi in Gulbarga district to start a unit with an investment of Rs. 70 crore. It will have a 2,500-tonne crushing capacity a day with a 15-MW cogeneration plant.
The Cabinet decided that the fee structure for professional courses would be in accordance with the agreement with the private managements, Minister for Medical Education V.S. Acharya said. The Cabinet approved the memorandum of understanding between the Government and the private professional colleges based on a law enacted last year.