Sops needed for industries in backward regions, says Pawar

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Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar on Friday said the state government should not offer incentives for new industries in industrialised regions like Mumbai and Pune but focus on underdeveloped regions.

"Industries coming up in backward areas should be given more incentives. There is no need for incentives for industries coming up in Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik and Aurangabad. Let us accept there is a need to promote and expand industries outside these regions and it is necessary to offer incentives for industries coming up in areas such as Vidharbha, Konkan and Marathwada," he said.

He was speaking on industrial challenges for the state and how to address them, at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the state legislature at Pune Council Hall.

Pawar said the proposed land acquisition bill expected to be passed in the winter session of Parliament could pose hurdles in attracting investment.

"The draft bill says permission of 80 per cent of all parties involved in land transactions would be needed for the sale and this is likely to pose hurdles in investment. The bill proposes that rehabilitation of farmers who sell land be taken care of by the party who purchases the land and this could also prove a major issue," he said.

"The 15-member committee set up by the centre has to find a way out. I am sure a balance will be struck in the acquisition of new land and no issues would come up," he said.

Pawar suggested creating an investment friendly climate to attract investment and underlined the need for ensuring locals get preference in employment. "In Jalna and Nagpur, there are workers from Orissa running steel mills. Mumbai has carpenters from Rajasthan and Nashik vineyards have workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Taxis in Mumbai are run by people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. I am against any regional divide but it is a paradox that despite the state having the highest number of engineering colleges and polytechnics, locals still do not find employment," he said.

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