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`WB investor friendly, but land acquisition still an issue`

West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan said that although the state was "investor friendly", land acquisition still remained an issue.

Updated: Dec 06, 2012, 17:35 PM IST

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan on Thursday said that although the state was "investor friendly", land acquisition still remained an issue which was being looked into by the government.

"West Bengal is industry friendly. Land is an issue and that is being looked into," Narayanan told reporters on the sidelines of INFOCOM 2012 here.

He, however, refused to go into details on the initiatives being taken by the state in resolving the issue.

Industry has often raised concerns over land acquisition related problems in West Bengal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently said that her government could give permission for acquiring land under section 14 Y of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1995, if any industrialist bought it through negotiations directly in a peaceful way and farmers through affidavits declared that they gave it willingly.

Her government had earlier this year passed its first pro-industry bill amending Section 14Y of the Act lifting land ceiling in several cases of industrial operations.

Last year, Industry body FICCI had set up a task force to look into the issue of land acquisition in the state keeping in view the state government`s stand that industry would have to directly acquire land for its use.

But since there were several state legislations in West Bengal which barred acquisition of land in excess of 23 acre, the task force would study ways to deal with the situation in view of the government`s declared stand that land had to acquired by the industry directly.

Asked about his view on state ministers commenting on the court verdict on the Singur issue, Narayanan refused to comment.