The Telegraph
Friday , December 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Land a headache, but cure on way

Calcutta, Dec. 6: Bengal governor M.K. Narayanan today admitted that land was an issue in Bengal even as he said that the state was investor friendly.

The state government is looking into the issues surrounding land, he added.

“Bengal is investor friendly. There is an issue about land. That is being addressed,” Narayanan said. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating Infocom 2012, an ICT event organised by Businessworld, an ABP Group publication.

Businesses have often raised concerns on land acquisition coming in the way of industrialisation in Bengal, which had to suffer the ignominy of Tata Motors shifting its Nano project from Singur to Sanand in Gujarat because of land agitation.

Much to the frustration of industry, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul government has declared its policy of non-interference in acquisition matters and has asked companies to buy land directly from farmers.

As a concession, Bengal has allowed industry to hold land beyond the cap of 24 acres under Section 14Y of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, subject to declaration of the holding. Each case of excess land holding will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

On a junior state minister making adverse comments on the judiciary, Narayanan reserved his views and said the issue was best judged by the judiciary itself.

Speaking at Infocom 2012, the governor said the Indian IT industry had gained a brand identity of its own. In the last fiscal the infotech and BPO sector contributed $7 billion to India’s gross domestic product (GDP), or 7.8 per cent of GDP.

“Technology and Internet has brought about a shift in learning paradigms. But the Indian IT story is not without serious blemishes. India’s position vis--vis other countries is declining. India needs to use the initial advantage to remain leaders in IT,” he said.

The governor visited a number of stalls at the exhibition, including that of West Bengal Power Development Corporation, where he enquired about the progress of the power producer.

Speaking on the theme of “mobility” at the inauguration of Infocom 2012, D.D. Purkayastha, managing director and CEO, ABP Pvt Ltd, said, “As businesses become global, it is a necessity to be connected on the move and to have the world on the finger tips. Mobility is all pervasive, whether be it for organisations, IT service providers, government, academia or others. Adoption of a mobility strategy is becoming a critical success factor for sustainable competitive advantage for organisations. It is all about being able to reach the markets fastest and cater to the consumer needs on the go.”