Oppn stages walkout over industrial land allotment

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 27 (UNI) The entire Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) today staged a walkout in the Kerala Assembly, alleging lack of transparency in the allotment of industrial land.

Opposing the admissibility of an adjournment motion sought to be moved by Mr K C Venugopal of the Congress, Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem said the government had allotted the land in Kanjikode industrial area in Palakkad to three units as per the norms finalised in 1970 and there was no violation of law.

''It is true that the land was not given on market value. Our policy is to encourage small-scale industry, numbering more than 400,000,'' he added.

Earlier, Mr Venugopal said the industrial groups that were allotted land under concessional rate could not be considered as small-scale category. On the other hand, thousands of eligible small-scale units were denied such a facility.

Before trooping the members out of the House, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said the United Democratic Front (UDF) was not against the government offering concessions to small-scale units. But it should be done in a transparent manner.

He pointed out that the Left Democratic Front (LDF), when in opposition, had organised a series of agitation when the previous UDF Government allotted land to industries at a concessional rate.

''If the LDF changed its policy when it came to power, they should admit it openly so that thousands of eligible small-scale units will get the benefit,'' he added.

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