Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tamil Nadu govt denies it is selling farmers' land to MNCs

Chennai, Dec 13 : The Tamil Nadu government today denied reports in a section of the media that it was making profits by purchasing lands from farmers at a low rate and selling them to multi-national companies at higher rates, like those involved in real estate business.

Stating that such reports amounted to a disinformation campaign against the government, an official release here said the government never sold lands to multi-national companies. On the other hand, it gave the lands on lease while retaining the ownership.

Ever since SIPCOT was started in 1971 for the purpose of providing lands to industries, the government had been setting up industrial complexes only by making use of government poramboke lands.

Only when there was no sufficient poramboke lands in a particular region, the government acquired private lands, that too, lands which were not used for cultivation. ''At no point, the government acquired cultivable lands'', the release asserted.

During the last 15 years, the government had acquired 13,490 acres of land, of which non-cultivable lands accounted only for 269 acres, it said, adding this constitued only two per cent of the total acquired lands.

When private lands are acquired, the government pays the compensation to the owners, taking into account, the market price, guidance value and the development activities of the surrounding region, it said.

After developing the lands for industries, the government gives the lands on lease basis, covering the cost, it had spent for developing the lands. SIPCOT is functioning only for the development of industries without any profit motive, the release added.

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