Agriculture and Industry are mutually beneficial: Nirupam Sen

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Amtala, Mar 26 (UNI) Contrary to common belief, development in agriculture and industry go hand in hand, said West Bengal Commerce and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen.

Inaugurating the Rs 150 crore Mega Food Processing Park, being set up on a 125 acre land, Mr Sen said, ''West Bengal's economy is basically agro-based and development of peasantry and the agro-based industry will bring forth a much greater development in the state.'' The park, jointly promoted by Bengal Salapuria Group, Eden City Group and West Bengal Infrastructure Development Corporation(WBIDC), in Bishnupur town of South 24 Parganas under Alipore sadar sub-division, expects to generate employment to 2,000-3,000.

Minister-in-Charge of Land and Land Reforms Abdur Rezzak Mollah said, '' We welcome all businessmen and industrialists to invest in our state, especially in the agro-based and horticulture industry, and add value by utilising the food processing technology.

''This will not only improve the economy of the state and districts but also add value to the lives of the poor peasants,'' Mr Mollah added.

Lambasting the media for their "one-track mind" in looking at any new project, he said, '' Any new project does not mean only how much land is utilised and the immediate employment it generates, but industry is all about the related business scope it provides to the local populace and the general development of the area.'' Admitting that the ruling Left Front's success in the state was not due to its achievement in poverty alleviation or eradication of malnutrition, as it still exists, but it was only because of ''maximum involvement of the people of the state, especially the poor.'' While making a note of the untoward incidents in different districts of the state following bumper crops this year, the state industry minister said this could not be thought of 30 years back, when the peasants could not even imagine of surplus production.

''Today, paddy crops have multiple benefits. Not only do we get rice, our staple food, but we can also utilise the husk for oil and electricity,'' he said.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Salarpuria Group Chairman Rakesh Salarpuria, South 24 Parganas Zilla Parishad Sabhadipati Bimal Mistry, and MPs Sujon Chakrobotry and Samik Lahiri.

Apart from this food park, another has come up in Howrah and one more is coming up with private-public investment in Malda.

UNI LL KK/src2001

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