The West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Assembly on Friday that will allow the use of lands of closed or partly-closed factories to set up new ones.
The main aim of introducing the amendments in the Bill was "unlocking the closed factories, value addition by creating necessary infrastructure that will attract investment and improve the socio-economic condition as it will generate job opportunities."
While introducing the Bill in the Assembly, Partha Chatterjee, the state Parliamentary Affairs minister, took a dig at the erstwhile Left Front government for their policy of taking away lands from people in the name of industrialisation.
He said when that when the Left Front government was grabbing land from farmers, it was Mamata Banerjee who led the movement against such acquisition. The movement had initiated from Singur and later spread to other parts of the state wherever the then state government had attempted to take away lands from the people by force.
Chatterjee clearly stated that his government's policy is not to take away land from people for any project.
"It was the Left Front government who acquired the multi-crop land," he said.
He said that it leads to a question that where new factories will be set up if no land is acquired.
"The Chief Minister had started a process to identify land that was lying unused for years. It could be either of closed factories, partly open or sick factories.
"New factories could be set up in the unused land," he said.
However, tea gardens have been kept out of its ambit. Infrastructure for poultry farm diary, warehouses, logistic hub, bio-technology park, agro industry,
industrial park and financial hub could up in the land lying unused of other closed industries.
Most importantly, there will be no real estate development in the unused land of the closed factories.