The Marxist government, which always boasts of being the “most democratic and transparent one”, actually behaves in a different way when “unpalatable” questions are put before them.
The matter came to a head when the general secretary of the State Government Employees’ Federation, Mr Partha Chatterjee, sought some information regarding the terms and conditions of the deal between the government and Tata Motors for the latter’s proposed small car factory at Singur from the commerce and industry department under the Right to Information Act, 2004.
Mr Panchanan Banerjee, public information officer of the commerce and industry department, in his reply said there were certain information which could not be passed on to Mr Chatterjee.
He said information regarding stamp duty exemption given by the state government to the Tatas could not be divulged. Also, nothing could be mentioned on the exemption of water tax, vat and other duties imposed on the Tatas.
No information was provided on the MoU signed between the state government and the Tatas. Also, the state government declined to say anything on the steps it is going to take against the Tatas if the proposed project gets delayed.
Mr Banerjee stated that the government was unable to say the exact amount of money which the Tatas had paid to the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) for the land at Singur.
However, the total amount of money the state government was paying to farmers for acquiring the land at Singur was readily made available to Mr Chatterjee.