With the movement at Singur suspended and the agreement signed at Raj Bhavan with the state government, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee seemed tired on Monday. But she looked relaxed, as her political rhetoric had no barbs for the government.
But in the CPI(M) camp, there was uneasiness. The leadership appeared to be taken aback by the Tata Motors press release issued shortly after sending an official letter to the government, complaining about the lack of clarity in Sunday’s deal. Sources said some party leaders felt that Tata chief Ratan Tata was being unnecessarily hasty.
But Mamata was quick to brush aside the Tata Motors statement. “The Tatas don’t concern us. The agreement is with the state government. We want the factory and the farmers to co-exist,” she said.
CPI(M) state secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Bose, however, said, “Till the other day, Mamata kept saying there was lack of clarity in the agreement signed by the Tatas and the government. Now, the Tatas are saying the agreement between the agitators and the government lack clarity. It seems we need to have another round of meetings on clarify.”
But if the Tatas eventually pull out, one person who might actually breathe a sigh of relief — albeit secretly — is finance minister Asim Dasgupta. After all, he would not have to burn the midnight oil to fulfill certain terms of the agreement between the state and Tata Motors.
The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) is supposed to put up the terms on its website on Monday after keeping it under wraps for more than a year, citing objection from the Tatas.
Under the agreement, besides providing a loan at 0.1 per cent interest for amounts equal to gross VAT and sales tax on every Nano sold from Bengal, the state will have to ensure that the loan is disbursed before 60 days of the close of the financial year.
And failing that, the corporation will be liable to compensate the Tatas “at the rate of 1.5 times the bank rate prevailing at the time on the amount due for the period of such delay”.