December 1, 2008

Government needs to be very cautious towards land acquisition: WB CM

KOLKATA, 28 NOV., 2008: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Wednesday said that his government needs to be very cautious towards land acquisition.

Speaking at the National Executive Meet of FICCI, Bhattacharjee said, “Singur and Nandigram have sent a wrong signal to investors both in India and abroad. Very often foreigners who meet me ask me about them and I had to explain (why this has happened).”

Bhattacharjee said that from the very beginning, he has advocated a nationwide land acquisition policy. He said 60 percent of the people in the state were dependent on agriculture, which is not a good sign for the economy. “We have 1.35 crore acres of land and out of that only 1 per cent is needed for implementation of all our projects. The Opposition does not want to understand that,” said Bhattacharjee.

Bhattacharjee also pointed out that the farmers should get remunerative prices and they should be rehabilitated. “There should be rehabilitation of the farmers too. The Central government is preparing a bill for compensation and rehabilitation and it will be passed soon,” the CM said.
The CM stressed on the need of a deep sea port in the state’s South 24 Parganas on Bay of Bengal. He, however, expressed his unhappiness over the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) move to explore the possibility of setting up a deep sea port at Chittagong in Bangladesh.

“I am going to Delhi next Saturday and will discuss this with (External Affairs Minister) Pranab Mukherjee and if necessary I will talk to Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh”, said the 64 year old minister.

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