Bengal Government won't acquire land from farmers

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Mamata Banerjee
New Delhi, Jul 4: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee adamantly sticks to her statement that all land acquisition for industrial projects needs to be done by the respective industries, defying the Centre's diktat.

That is in sharp contrast to Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council which says that it's the government which must acquire the land for industry.

According to Law Minister Veerappa Moily, it is highly dangerous for industrialists to acquire land directly because then they would use surreptitious means to acquire land that couldn't be let to happen.

"We are very clear that we will not acquire land from farmers," said Partha Chatterjee, Industries Minister. That's what 120 CEOs from across the country heard when they pressed the industries minister on land - an issue that might affect investment in Bengal.

Bengal's land is mostly cultivable with many stakeholders, acquiring land for even a small industrial project can take years. In a state that is desperate for investment, the government, it seems, has emerged as the biggest stumbling block.

"The government has all the right intentions, it remains to be seen if it can actually translate into action," said MV Kotwal, President Larsen and Tubro, Heavy Engineering.

Mamata's tendency to be at loggers heads with the centre, continues to be evident when she dared to oppose UPA govt's decision of a fuel hike and then a division on the issue of land acquisition. Banerjee is having a tough time convincing the investors that land will no longer be a problem.

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