Buddha blames Centre for halting Bengal’s industrialisation pace

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee blamed the Centre for not handing over the land of the closed industrial units to the state government.

Published:March 2, 2009 4:33 am

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee blamed the Centre for not handing over the land of the closed industrial units to the state government. He said the state government requires the land to set up new industries.

“I personally have written many times to Centre asking it to give us the land so that we can start new industries there. We are even ready to buy the land at reserved prices. But the central government refused our plea and said it will auction such land,” Bhattacharjee said at the inauguration of Paridhan,a garment park near Chhinrighata in Kolkata.

“There are hundreds of factories and mills in West Bengal which have been closed down and belong to Government of India. For example,the National Jute Mills Corp,National Textile Corp,and Krishna Silicate and Glass are never going to be reopened,” he added.

The chief minister said Opposition parties have often criticised the state government for acquiring land for factories instead of setting them up on the premises of closed factories.

“Often the Opposition parties,as well as the media have asked us why did we not set up new industries in the place of closed ones,instead of acquiring land? Do they think taking over closed factories is easy?” Bhattacharjee said.

“As it is,the central government is not cooperating. Then,if there is a pending case in the court and finally there are bank loans to be repaid. In most of the cases,the owners have closed the factories or have run away,” he said.

He said the state government wanted to make optimum use of the land of closed factories. Bhattacharjee said there are 218 closed factories on BT Road at Barrackpore near Kolkata.

“But so far,we have been able to take over only two. There are many closed jute mills along the Ganga,which can be used for setting up small and medium scale industries.”

According to him,the central government has to decide on the closed factories in the state.

“Our agenda is very clear. Either the Centre should set up industries on the land of closed factories in West Bengal,or hand over the land to us to start new factories. It’s high time we leave aside our personal interests and think about the country,and country’s future lies with industrialisation,” he added.

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