Centre will not intervene in Singur standoff

August 29th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Even as the standoff persists over the Tata Motors’ Nano car project in Singur, the central government Friday made it clear that it will not intervene in the issue and underlined the need for “balancing investment and justice”. “We should not damage the investors’ confidence in the country. We should not be unjust to people,” Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here when asked whether the government was planning to play the facilitator in the Singur case.

“There is no role for the central government in this. This is for the state government to decide. The state government should act,” he stressed.

“We need an investor-friendly climate. Investment is not an end in itself. It should come with justice,” he said after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Sibal’s remarks come even as security was tightened at the Tata’s plant in Singur after protesters blocked entry to the factory Thursday evening.

The Trinamool Congress is spearheading the campaign to force the state government to accept its demand of returning 400 acres of land, which the party claims was forcibly taken from farmers.

Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, has threatened to shift the factory out of West Bengal, which would mean a loss of a Rs.15 billion (around $400 million) investment.

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