DFID encroaching Bleeding Odisha


Odisha readies draft of auto component policy Investors may be offered 50% rebate on land cost besides other sops.

Jayajit Dash / Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar Jun 27, 2012,
Odisha, which is looking to diversify its investment basket beyond core metallurgical industries, has readied the draft of its proposed auto component policy to woo investors in the sector.

With such policy already in vogue in peer states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka, the Odisha government does not wish to miss out on the huge potential offered by the buoyant auto component sector.

The draft auto component policy prepared by Omega Tast, a consultant assisted by UK government‘s international donor agency- Department for International Development (DFID), envisages a concession of up 50 per cent on land to be made available to auto component manufacturers. On the power subsidy front, it talks of electricity duty waiver for 10 years.Among the other fiscal incentives delineated in the policy include 100 per cent exemption on entry tax on plant, machinery, raw materials and other inputs. The draft also talks of reimbursement of value added tax (VAT) paid for a period of 20 years, limited to 200 per cent of fixed capital investment.

The draft policy has also proposed a capital grant of up to 25 per cent of fixed capital investment (excluding land cost), subject to a maximum of Rs one crore. Private auto park developers would also be entitled to capital grant of up to 20 per cent of the fixed capital investment (excluding land cost), subject to a limit of Rs two crore, according to the daft policy.

“The draft auto component policy has been prepared meticulously after comparing incentives offered by states that have already formulated such policies. We have now sought the considered views of Investment Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol) on the draft policy”, said an industries department official.

As per the cost-benefit analysis estimates made by Omega Tast, for every fiscal incentive of Rs 7732 to be provided by the state government, one permanent job will be created in the auto component industry. This implies that an incentive of Rs 15 crore offered by the state government will generate approximately 19,400 jobs.

On revenue estimates, the draft policy says if an auto OEM (original equipment manufacturer) invests Rs 2000 crore in the state, it would result in potential tax revenue of Rs 90 crore to the state once the plant is fully operational.

Odisha which has attracted investments worth over Rs 13.66 lakh crore across sectors, mostly from mineral-based industries, has attracted only one major investment in the auto component manufacturing space.

RSB Transmission had entered into an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the state government for setting up an auto component manufacturing plant at Choudwar near Cuttack at an estimated cost of around Rs 400 crore.

The state offers good resources to support automobile component manufacturing units like availability of quality pig iron, pure aluminium ingot, steel flat products and steel rounds.

In addition to this, there is availability of skilled personnel for the sector with manpower drawn from institutes operating in the city like Central Tool Room Training Centre and Central Institute for Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET).

The Indian auto component industry has been registering growth of 20 per cent per annum since 2000 and is projected to maintain high growth range of 15-20 per cent till 2015.

The industry which touched $10 billion in 2005-06 is expected to grow four-fold to $40 billion by 2015.

Breaking: Tritium leak in nuclear reactor at Rawatbhata, 38 workers exposed to radiation!


News clip in today’s Rajasthan Patrika

Kumar Sundaram

The front page of today’s Rajasthan Patrika has carried a news about tritium leak in Rajasthan’s Rawatbhata Atomic Power Plant (RAPP) which the national media has conveniently overlooked. According to the news item, the accident happened 5 days back but the plant administration at RAPP kept it under wraps. On Saturday, 38 workers were exposed to tritium leaks while they were working on heavy water and tritium supply channels in the reactor. Vinod Kumar, the Station Director of RAPP Units 5 and 6 has been quoted as saying that 3 workers have been exposed to Tritium doses exceeding normal.

According to some unconfirmed sources, around 150 employees and daily workers were examined and kept under observation. An expert team from Mumbai has arrived there.

Speaking to DiaNuke.org, prominent nuclear physicist Dr. Surendra Gadekar said there is no “safe does” of Tritium. It is a dangerous radionuclide of hydrogen, soluble in water and can reach in every corner of the body once somebody is exposed to it. It leads to disabilities and genetic mutation. Dr. Surendra Gadekar has done extensive health survey around the RAPP in the past and his studies have revealed high occurrence of physical disabilities and cancer, especially in children and women. He also expressed concern over the plight of contractual workers in the nuclear industry in India.

Contrary to the high-decibal official rhetoric, the Indian nuclear industry has a poor track-record on safety. In August last year, radioactive leak took place in India’s Kakrapar nuclear reactor leaving 3 workers severely sick due to radiation exposure, all employed on contractual basis without any health benefits or insurances. The officials in the power plant pressurised the workers for a month until their condition worsened and they complained to the district collector. Embarrassed when this incident was revealed, a senior official from the NPCIL said –  “taking advantage of it, the workers, who were on contract, began demanding regularisation” !

Mr Kailash Chandra Purohit, who has taken over as the new CMD of the NPCIL this week, started his career at the Rawatbhata nuclear reactors. In a media interview today, Mr. Purohit has summed up his lesson from Koodankulam for other nuclear power projects- a massive “outreach program”. Public relation is the best way to ensure nuclear safety !

Trade unionists tortured, jailed in Kazakhstan


Last December we told you about a bloody confrontation between striking oil workers and the government in Kazakhstan.
Six months have passed, and instead of investigating what happened and seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict, the authorities have cracked down hard.
Many people have been placed on trial and sentenced to prison, there have been allegations of torture, and the government continues to punish people for the “crime” of “calling for social strife”.
It’s time for this to stop, and for the prison sentences to be reconsidered, for the cases of torture to be investigated, and for repressive legislation to be repealed.
The International Trade Union Confederation, together with national labour centres in Russia and Kazakhstan, has launched an online campaign of protest.
We need thousands of trade unionists around the world to take the time — and it’s only a minute — to send of their letters of protest.
Please send off your message now: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1461
And please forward this email to your fellow union members.  Spread the word – build the campaign!

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