October 26, 2008

Prime Minister 'sad' over Nano episode

New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI): Expressing "sadness" over the circumstances in which Ratan Tata had to shift his pet Nano car project from West Bengal to Gujarat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has highlighted the need for industrialisation with a human face."Well, we are a free democratic country. It is certainly sad the circumstances in which Ratan Tata had to move his project," Singh said when asked to comment on the Nano episode that hogged media headlines for weeks.
"It is sad because a lot of work had been done in Bengal and there was a date fixed for Nano's appearance in the market. So that process was delayed so therefore to some extent it was a sad thing," Singh told reporters yesterday while returning from his high-profile visit to Japan and China.Singh said entrepreneurs were free to decide the location of their plants in a democracy.In a market economy, these things happen. "These are the decisions which cannot be forced down the throat of unwilling entrepreneurs," he said while commenting on Tata's decision to shift shift the Nano car factory from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand near Ahmedabad in Gujarat following the agitation against land acquisition at Singur led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
At the same time, the Prime Minister said India must industrialise to realise its destiny but it should not come at the expense of the nation's farmers.Farmers should be appropriately compensated when their land is acquired for setting up industries, he said."India needs to industrialise, without industrialisation we cannot find solutions to our employment or development problems."The real issue is what are the terms on which the land is acquired. It should not be acquired at prices which keep the farmers dissatisfied," Singh said. PTI

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