Mamata opposes Buddha’s proposal on land for industry

Kolkata, June 30: Opposing West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s demand, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said the central government should not hand over to the state lands of closed and sick state-run units for setting up new industries.

‘We want the land of closed and sick PSUs (public sector units) to be used for industrial purposes. But the centre should take the initiatives on its own and not hand over the land to the state government,’ Banerjee, chief of the state’s principal opposition Trinamool Congress, told reporters here.

‘If they (centre) hand over the land to the state government, they will only encourage real estate boom in these closed PSU sites,’ she said.

Banerjee’s reaction came in the wake of Bhattacharjee’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday, seeking policy decisions and administrative measures to help the state use the land of the sick and closed PSUs for setting up new industries.

The chief minister contended that once the legal hassles and other bottlenecks were removed, the land of such PSUs should first be offered to the state for purchase.

Banerjee said thousands of young people in the state had already moved elsewhere in search of jobs. ‘So, we want that more and more job opportunities be created in our state. If the centre can take the initiative, it will be great for our future generations,’ she said.