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Talk directly to farmers, Dhoot advises Tata

BS Reporter in Kolkata | September 02, 2008 13:16 IST

Ratan Tata's hands-off approach in Singur land acquisition seems to have divided the industry. Videcon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot today said that the Tatas should settle the issue by talking directly with the farmers affected by the project.

Emerging from a meeting with the West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Dhoot said that he had reassured the chief minister that the state was not dependent on just one corporate house and there were other corporates that were willing to invest in West Bengal.

Dhoot plans to seek an appointment with Tata within next week to advise him on ways to settle the issue. Dhoot, who happens to be the immediate past president of Assocham, said he was speaking on behalf of the chamber.

"It's a small matter. Tata earns Rs 100 crore a day. What is the problem? He should speak directly with the farmers and settle the issue. The government can assist but Tatas should settle it directly," he said.

The Videocon [Get Quote] chairman also mooted it with the chief minister who said that he would help anyone who wanted to invest in the state. "From his side, the chief minister said he will help. For employment creation, the chief minister can do anything," clarified Dhoot.

Dhoot narrated Videocon's experience of land acquisition in Bengal. He said that the company was welcomed by the farmers of Purulia when the company officials went to acquire 200 acres for a solar project.

The Videocon group has announced a total investment package of Rs 18,000 crore, of which a steel plant accounts for Rs 15,000 crore and the balance is split between IT special economic zones and a 20MW solar power project.

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