Big Industry and Local Land-Owners: Alliance in Gurgaon

If we believe the wider media-coverage than the current boom sectors in Gurgaon are ‘indoor-golf’-facilities and eye-surgery or stem-cell treatment for US patients – at least most of the announcements of new investments concern decadent entertainment or medical tourism.

In November 2010 Harley Davidson announced to open an assembly plant in Gurgaon area, in order to avoid import duties. All parts will be manufactured in the US. Given the sales figures of 250 to 300 sold bikes in India per year, the factory is rather an extra-gimmick for the ‘indoor-golf’-palace anyway. A rather more serious investment: Panasonic announced to invest 2.5 billion Yen in a new washing machine factory in Gurgaon. Production is supposed to start in 2012 – annual manufacturing target 500,000 washing machines.

The power base of Haryana’s political class is the combination of big industry and local landowning class. Real estate rent and industrial profits transform into tax money – of which the local peasantry receives their share in form of compensation payment. In November 2010 the Haryana government announced to a Revised Land Acquisition Policy 2010, which basically means an increase in the state-fixed minimum land prices. For land situated within the notified limits of Gurgaon Municipal Corporation, the new MFR has been fixed at Rs 72 lakh per acre, including Rs 8 lakh as no litigation incentive. Earlier, the highest official acquisition rate in the state was Rs 22 lakh per acre. Hooda said the annuity for acquisition of land for private companies / initiatives would be Rs 42,000 per acre per annum with an annual increase at Rs 1500. The additional amount paid as annuity over 33 years worked out to Rs 21,78,000 per acre. Explaining the provision regarding giving jobs in government, the Chief Minister said that in cases where more than 75 per cent of land, subject to a minimum of two acres or above, was acquired for a public purpose other than that for HUDA/ HSIIDC/ HSAMB, one dependent from the land-owning family would be provided a job in the state government.