Industry Minister MC Sampath and Electricity Minister P Thangamani put up a spirited defence in the Assembly today against the Opposition members’ accusation that Tamil Nadu was losing investments to its neighbour.
Sampath insisted that the State continued to be a favoured investment destination. Tamil Nadu’s investment facilitation agency, Guidance Bureau, is now handling industrial investments totalling over ₹19,000 crore, apart from attracting over ₹6,000 crore through single window facilitation, said Sampath.
He pointed out that Tamil Nadu is a mature industrial destination with a well-established base of investments by global majors in diverse sectors. Refuting the Opposition members’ accusation of losing investments to neighbouring States, he said Andhra Pradesh has attracted FDI of just about ₹74,000 crore since 2001.
“Tamil Nadu is keeping a close watch on all investment opportunities,” he said.
Moving the demand for grants to Industries Department, he said major automobile companies have firm investment plans in the State, including PSA Peugeot Citroen which plans to invest ₹ 3,000 crore across three units – a Greenfield investment for power trains at Hosur, Brownfield Assembling unit and R&D Centre in Chennai; CEAT Tyres plans to invest ₹ 5,000 crore in stages; Xuzhou Construction Machinery ₹ 1,350 crore; and Yamaha Musical Instruments ₹ 500 crore. These were among the projects the Guidance Bureau is handling.
It has also facilitated investments by Inox Air Products, Britannia Industries, Roki Minda and Satyam Auto components.
Thangamani said Tamil Nadu has its strengths as a well established and diversified industrial hub. The private industrial estate in Andhra Pradesh, just North of Chennai, was attracting investments because of low land cost. It ranges around ₹ 5 – 10 lakh an acre and in some instances elsewhere, land has been allocated at ₹ 1 an acre to attract investments.
But government acquisition of land in Tamil Nadu is relatively expensive. Land cost for industry can range around ₹ 1 – 1.5 crore an acre. Power cost in Tamil Nadu was more competitive than in Andhra Pradesh and most other States that attract industrial investments. The State is surplus in power with over 15,000 MW compared with an availability of less than 10,000 MW in the neighbouring State, he said.