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West Bengal plans to take back unutilised land

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Keen to augment the availability of land for industry, West Bengal is set to enact a law that will empower the State government to take back land left unutilised and held beyond the land-holding ceiling by the industry.

A high-power meeting in this regard, chaired by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was attended by Industry Minister Nirupam Sen, Finance Minister Asim Kumar Dasgupta and Land and Land Reforms Minister Abdur Razzak Mollah.

“The meeting was positive,” Mr. Sen said, adding that it was an informal meeting on land for industry and provided a way forward for discussing the issue at the forthcoming Cabinet meeting. The matter regarding problems faced by industries which purchased land directly was also discussed.

Mr. Mollah said that altogether 4.5-lakh acres given to the tea industry and 30,000 acres given to other industries were lying unutilised and the State proposed to take back such land.

“The industry would either have to utilise the land submitting details of project reports and feasibility studies, or else they would be auctioned by the government,” he said.

He said the West Bengal Estate Acquisition Amendment Act 2009, introduced in the Assembly on December 5, 2009 and now approved by the Governor and the President, would be placed before the Cabinet and then made into a law.

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