Tripura: Manik Sarkar to pursue industrialisation if he wins
According to a report published in Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Sarkar, the chief minister of the only Left-ruled state in the country now, knows that it won't be possible for his state to attract big industries straightaway.
His government has thus stressed small and medium-scale industries to begin with and accordingly, prioritised communication and power to bolster the infrastructure. He would build his industrial plan on the infrastructure if he returned to power.
Sarkar said it depends on private investors to set up industries and not the government. "But, if they see that there is no infrastructure at all, then who will come to set up industry here?," the report said quoting Sarkar. He said the infrastructure in Tripura was not yet upto the mark and his administration was aiming to improve it.
The CM said the industrialists can set up their units in the industry belt and if they want to use land outside it, they will have to buy land. He said nobody will be given land for free. When asked about his government's industry policy, he said the government will clarify the status of the land to the investors but the pricing will be decided by the latter and the government will not intervene.
He said if the land chosen belongs to the government, the record will be assessed and if it is seen that the state will make profit from the deal, the investor will be given an approval.
Tripura government sources said efforts were on in all the eight districts to set up industry-belt on the side of national highways. Land was being acquired but not in densely populated areas and the government was planning adequate compensation.
The government will also ensure that middlemen don't hinder the process of industrialisation, an issue that has caused much concern in West Bengal under the Mamata Banerjee government, which has clearly said that it will not buy land for industry and leave it for the industrialists. Both opposition and economic experts have questioned such stand taken by Banerjee's administration.
The Sarkar government has been encouraged by the 726 MW power unit at Palatana and it has also approached the ONGC to set up fertiliser industry where production will be carried out with the help of natural gas.
The state government has also been talking to the Centre over improving road, rail and air communications besides trying to improve links with Bangladesh to avail its ports. The government believes that Tripura can become an integral part of India's Look East policy if it can accomplish all these tasks.
Former chief minister and Congress leader Sami Ranjan Barman said the Left Front government had blocked the state's progress in the last twenty years, adding that land would not be a problem for the state's industrialisation. He said if the Congress comes to power, it will take each project at a time to decide whether the government will have any role in acquiring land.
Tripura will go the election on February 14. The results will be declared on February 28.