Govt moots land compensation pack after Nandigram experience

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Kolkata, Sep 26 (UNI) After the tough experience in Singur and Nandigram over acquisition of land for industry, the West Bengal government has mooted a policy for giving a comprehensive compensation package to marginal farmers for giving away their agricultural land, Industry Minister Nirupam Sen has said.

The initiative, first of its kind, is part of a government effort to strike a consensus on the process of industrialisation and on the issue of rehabilitation.

Talking to reporters after a day-long interactive session with industrialists, political leaders, academicians, economists and sociologists, Mr Sen said the proposed package would cover the marginal farmers who were solely dependent on agriculture.

''Since every industrial project generates commercial activities in its hinterland, we propose to earmark some land and set up small shops which can be run by the marginal farmers. This would be in addition to the compensation that he receives,'' he said.

This was for the first time that a cross section of society shared a forum at the invitation of the government on the vexed issue of land acquisition and compensation that triggered political unrest in the state.

The government was also mulling to pay such land losers a compensation commensurate with the price the land would fetch in future, the Minister said.

While the Congress was the only opposition to attend the meet, academics from the IIT, ISI, IIM, as well as economists and sociologists and members of the Agricultural Commission attended the session.


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