The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Long-term balm on land bite
- Business study suggests Bengal will survive acquisition backlash

Calcutta, July 11: Trouble over land acquisition has severely hampered the stateís industrialisation process and image, but most potential investors consider it to be only a short-term setback, a study has revealed.

The investment climate survey was carried out by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Of the 150 respondents from industry, 52.3 per cent said the turmoil was temporary and 33.3 per cent felt the fallout could be more severe.

Only 14.2 per cent thought the problem would not pose a hurdle to Bengalís march towards industrialisation.

An overwhelming number of the respondents (80 per cent) underlined the need for a suitable rehabilitation package for land-losers, ICC president Harsh K. Jha said while releasing the findings today.

The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government is yet to come out with a uniform rehabilitation policy. The state has prepared packages on a case-by-case basis.

Asked to comment on the Jindal model of giving shares and jobs apart from cash as compensation, Jha said it was good but could not be applicable everywhere.

The lack of a proper plan for rehabilitation and resettlement of land-losers has held up several big-ticket investments in Jharkhand, Vishambhar Saran, the senior vice-president of the ICC, pointed out. Orissa, on the other hand, has come out with an extensive package, he added.

While 60 per cent of the respondents said land acquisition was an area of concern for Bengal, more than one-third (37.5 per cent) felt the state must go ahead with the procurement.

Despite the dent that the land wars in Nandigram and Singur have made in the stateís image, Bengal bagged the fifth rank in the countrywide investment attractive index.

Fifty-six per cent of the respondents gave Bengal the thumbs-up as a favourable destination for investments while 70.2 per cent said they would expand production in the state this year.

There was more good news for Bhattacharjee ó he topped the chief ministersí chart, beating Gujaratís Narendra Modi, who got second place.

The study also recommended that the government detach itself from the CPM, except for policy decisions.

Another suggestion was that the Opposition should be taken into consideration to build consensus.

Email This Page