Even before Taiwanese electronics major Foxconn makes a formal application for land for its $5-billion manufacturing facility here, the Maharashtra government is almost ready with the promised land.
Most of the required land has been acquired and no major hurdle is expected in acquiring the rest. The reason behind one of the smoothest land acquisitions of recent past is simple — pay market price and if possible a little more, and be a little sensitive to displaced people.
The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation followed this policy while acquiring land at Talegaon Phase II for Foxconn’s mega electronics manufacturing project.
Notwithstanding some skepticism over rehabilitation, farmers were eager to give up their land as compensation was attractive – MIDC is paying Rs 55 lakh per acre. Those who want 15% of their redeveloped land back, compensation is Rs 46.75 lakh per acre. The price MIDC had paid to farmers during 2000-2005 for Talegaon Phase I was Rs 1 lakh per acre. Also, forceful acquisitions did take place then.
There is growing demand from private investors for land here and the rate being offered is around R80 lakh to R1 crore per acre.
Around 900 ha was acquired when Talegaon Phase I was set up. Companies such as General Motors, JCB India, Ina Bearings, Posco, Tata and Autocomp have invested there.
MIDC chief executive Bhushan Gagrani said Foxconn wants around 1,000 acres and 680 acres has been acquired till January 11. Around Rs 320 crore has been paid to owners of land. The remaining land, Gagrani hopes, will be bought by the end of the current fiscal.
Once Foxconn makes a formal application, the land will be handed over to the company in three months, says Gagrani. According to him, the company has started contract manufacturing of mobile phones, tablets, TFT monitors/ displays across facilities in Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai, but the plant in Talegaon will be different from the existing ones.
MIDC had earmarked 454.986 ha for acquisition and the land extracts had been appended in 2005-05.
“We have changed our attitude in the land acquisition process of MIDC. They don’t oppose to the scale they used to after the January 2014 changes in land acquisition policy. We have decided to give them the market rates and a little more as there is flexibility in our Act. We give them three to four times of the ready reckoner rate which works out to double the market rate,” said Gagrani, adding that acquisition takes place only if it is unavoidable.
Gagrani said MIDC has appointed Mckinsey to work out a sustainable financial model for rehabilitation and returning of developed land. “If we give them isolated plots, there is a tendency to sell it off immediately. So we are looking at pooling of the land and working out a more long-term asset creation”, he said.