regular-article-logo Friday, 02 June 2023

Mamata Banerjee’s land offer to investors

CM’s win-win for govt and industrialists

Calcutta Published 16.03.23, 06:04 AM
Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee File picture

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked industrialists to take advantage of her government’s recent policy in which leasehold plots would be made freehold.

Speaking at Nabanna during a meeting of the industrial promotion board, she said that while this would help the state earn more revenue, industrialists operating out of leasehold land would also become land owners.


“I will request the industrialists and investors, who have set up industries or housing complexes on plots by taking land on long-term lease from the government, to come forward and convert those plots to freehold. This will help you (investors) as you will be the owner of the plots. This will help us because this will give us some money which we can reinvest for developing industries,” Mamata said.

The state government recently allowed government-owned companies like WBIDC to convert the plots leased out for the long-term into freehold.

Various departments were also allowed to make the leasehold plots into freehold.

“The main target behind the decision is revenue generation. The chief minister is trying to make full use of the policy so that the state can generate some more revenue at a time when the state exchequer is struggling to run 70-odd welfare schemes,” said a senior government official.

As most industries or housing complexes were set up on plots leased out by government companies like WBIDC or Hidco, Mamata underscored making plots leased out by them into freehold ones.

“The government takes 90 per cent of the market price of a plot as salami while leasing it out for a longer period. Now, if plots are made freehold, companies have to pay the rest 10 per cent of the market price. This will help the state government get a handsome amount,” said a senior bureaucrat.

The state government is also planning to lease out large waterbodies located on government land for pisciculture.

The government has around 1,500 waterbodies spread over 5 acres of land or more. If these waterbodies are leased out for pisciculture, the government can again earn revenue while at the same time, fish production will increase in Bengal, sources said.

Mamata said her government identified nearly 8,000 acres along the proposed industrial corridors of Dankuni-Raghunathpur and Dankuni-Kalyani.

A source said the bulk was government land.

Senior bureaucrats said these efforts suggest Mamata wanted ways to generate revenue to keep her pet welfare projects such as Lakshmir Bhandar and Krishak Bandhu running.

On job creation, Mamata said: “A total of 1.14 lakh crore will be invested in the MSME sector and this will generate about 41 lakh jobs.… The World Trade Centre is set to introduce their office in Calcutta and they will also invest Rs 1,500 crore which will also create several jobs.”

She said the next Bengal Global Business Summit would be held in November.

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