No slackening of industrialisation in Bengal: Buddhadeb
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 21:39
Kolkata: Scotching speculation that his government would go slow on industrialisation in West Bengal if it returns to power after Nandigram and Singur fiascoes, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday emphasised that the process of industrialisation cannot be reversed.

He said there was apprehension in the minds of people and in the corridors of industry post Singur and Nandigram about the future of industrialisation in the state.

"It is a must for creation of jobs. In fact, we have to give more thurst to industrialisation. We have to do it by consolidating the agricultural growth," he told a press conference here.

Dismissing suggestion that industry has stopped coming to the state, the chief minister said the state on the contrary had received the highest amount of investment last year in the last five-year span.

An amount of Rs 15,000 crore had been invested in the state, most of it in the steel sector followed by petrochemicals, IT, food processing and others, he said.

All the same, Bhattacharjee sounded a note of caution: "We have to be careful. As far as possible land has to be acquired on the basis of consensus. If the farmers do not want to give land, no land would be taken and taking farmland for industries would be avoided."

He said about 8,100 acres of land had been acquired for industry since the agitation at Singur.

He alleged an atmosphere of fear had been created by opposition parties who are 'getting impatient to come to power' and resorting to violence to do so.

"We want to defeat Maoists who are causing harm. But the main opposition party is co-operating with them. Many people have talked to me and they are fearful of any prospect of Trinamool Congress coming to power.

I have told them to remain assured that it will not happen. Trinamool will never be able to form the government," he said. Rejecting suggestions that Muslims are better off in Gujarat than in West Bengal, he said the two states cannot be compared. "In our state the minorities live in peace and harmony. In Gujarat they live in fear and mistrust."

He was also emphatic while answering a question on Singur that a factory would indeed come up there once the Left Front government returned to power.

"The land at Singur, where Nano project was to come up, still belonged to the Tatas. We will decide at the appropriate time," he said while answering a question whether there is a possibility of the Tatas setting up an automobile factory at the site.

He said the Tatas and the state industries department maintain contact with each other. Though admitting that West Bengal was facing a serious debt burden to the tune of Rs 2 lakh crore, he wondered why his state was being singled out.

"Why only West Bengal? This is a problem being faced by other states too. Look at Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Even the central government had a debt burden of Rs 49 lakh crore.

He said one of the major achievements of the Left Front government was the 'success story' in the IT sector with more and more companies setting up their units.

He said in the next two years there would be 2.5 lakh employment in the IT sector at the IT hub at Rajarhat near Kolakta.


First Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 21:39

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