Trinamool not for FDI in retail market

February 26th, 2011 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress will not allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail market if it comes to power in West Bengal, senior party leader and leader of the opposition in the assembly Partha Chatterjee said Saturday.”Foreign Direct Investment will not be allowed in retail market to protect retailers and small businessmen,” Chatterjee said at an interactive session on “West Bengal’s Economy - Vision 2015,” organised by the Merchants Chamber of Commerce here.

“We have watched potato growers commit suicide. We will ensure that the farmers get proper prices for what they produce,” he said.

When asked about Trinamool’s stand on allowing foreign investment in agriculture in the state, Chatteerjee said: “If they (investors) want to have potato chips factory then they should also set up five or six cold storages.”

On land acquisition policy, the opposition leader said: “We want to have a land bank. Mamata Banerjee has already done it in Railways. You must know at what price and where land is available.

“We are against grabbing of land… we will not take land without the owners’ consent,” he said, adding that the present land acquisition act should be changed.

Trinamool had carried out sustained agitation against the Left Front government’s acquisition of land for industries at Singur in Hooghly district.

The intense agitation forced automobile giants Tata Motors to abandon its Nano plant at Singur and shift the project to Gujarat.

Later, the party led similar protests at Nandigram in East Midnapore district against a proposed chemical hub project that the government ultimately scrapped.

The anti-land acquisition protests led to a rise in Trinamool’s popularity and the party led a front that defeated the Left Front in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the civic polls last year.

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