Population growth greater than growth of foodgrain : CM

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Kolkata, May 27 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today iterated that higher population growth than the increase in foodgrain had posed a serious challenge.

During a meeting with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President M V Kamath, Mr Bhattacharjee stated that public investment in agriculture was not sufficient.

'' Increase in price of input for the farmers is another growing concern. Only 11 per cent of farmers in West Bengal get ank loan, '' he stated.

The Chief Minister said, '' Modern market mechanism in agriculture is needed. West Bengal is going through a phase of rapid infrastructure development in terms of airport and sea port modernisation. '' Mr Kamath said, '' We should target for ten per cent growth rate and ensure that this growth rate is sustainable. '' He stressed on scaling up the market supply mechanism and accorded immense importance to skilling and forming state visions in alignment with India@75.

Mr Kamath also met Dr Sabyasachi Sen, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce&Industry, and requested for the state governments help in the adoption of ITIs for upgradation.

Dr Sen said, '' The CII is the closest to the West Bengal government among all the industrial associations and the state government is working very closely with CII. '' Dr Sen hoped this relationship would go on and asked the CII to identify and train the school dropouts.

He stated that the state government would provide fund for this programme and Haldia and Singur were primarily identified for such programmes.

Regarding framing of a vision for West Bengal, Dr Sen said the CII and the state government should work together in for it, adding there must be better road connectivity within the eastern region states and CII should take it up as a serious agenda.

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