Jharkhand companies should not use middlemen: Shibu Soren (Interview)

November 5th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Nov 5 (IANS) Companies operating in Jharkhand should desist from taking help of middlemen, says Chief Minister Shibu Soren. “Villagers dislike middlemen and I have also fought against moneylenders and middlemen,” he said. Attacks on companies planning to set up units in Jharkhand have increased after Soren took over as chief minister Aug 27. Maoist guerrillas have also stepped up their activities, abducting railway employees and killing security personnel in Chaibasa though Soren was ready to talk to them.

Referring to the attacks on firms’ properties, Soren told IANS in an interview here Tuesday: “We want to strike a balance between farmers and companies. Farmers cannot be thrown out of their land and at the same time we need industries for employment.”

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Investors are feeling scared as one attack after another took place on the companies after you took charge of the state. The company officials claim that they are not given proper security despite threat.

A. There is no doubt that we need investors to set up industries in the state. We welcome the investors who will ensure employment to the people of the state. We are ready to help the companies with providing securities and infrastructure. The surveyors of Bhushan steel were beaten up due to a confusion.

The companies are falling into the hands of brokers to get land. Companies should desist from taking help of middlemen. Villagers dislike middlemen and I have also fought against moneylenders and middlemen. Instead of taking help of middlemen, companies should approach the district administration and local legislators and leaders to interact with the land owners to get land.

Q. The agitators say that your rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) policy has many shortcomings. They say that the R&R policy will be implemented only on 30 percent land acquired by the government and not on the 70 percent land directly purchased by the companies.

A. If there are shortcomings in the policy, it will be rectified. We want to strike a balance between both farmers and companies. Farmers cannot be thrown out from their land and at the same time we need industries for employment. We will definitely work to ensure that the policy is implemented in hundred percent land acquired or purchased by the government and companies.

Q. Maoist rebels have stepped up their activities after you took charge of the state. You invited Maoist rebels for dialogue but they responded by killing security personnel.

A. I am serious about ending the Maoist problem. I invited them (Maoists) for dialogue. I am ready to go to the jungle to hold dialogue. I also offered them to choose one district and run it for a certain period of time and keep the people happy. The state government will also provide budgetary support in running the district. No Maoist organisation came forward to initiate dialogue with me. I am taking measures to solve the Maoist problem.

Q. What are the steps being taken by your government to end the Maoist problem?

A. The development of villages and addressing the unemployment problem are a few steps which can address the Maoist problem. The development of villages will automatically ensure development of the state.

Q. Corruption is a key issue for your government. Charges are levelled by the opposition parties that you are heading a team of corrupt ministers.

A. Where is the corruption? I will see myself about the corruption charges. I will not speak much about the issue as I believe in work, not in statement. Wait for some time.

(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at nityanand.s@ians.in)

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