New Delhi: India shouldn’t acquire fertile farm land to build factories, Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said, amid protests by farmers opposing the creation of industrial zones on their fields. “It shouldn’t be fertile and irrigated land,” Pawar told reporters on 21 March. “The acquired land should be barren.”
India put approvals for so-called special economic zones on hold in January until a panel of ministers makes its recommendations on acquiring land and rehabilitating those living on it. Sonia Gandhi, president of the ruling Congress party, said in September that land for industry must be acquired without jeopardizing the country’s agricultural prospects. The government should not be involved in the acquisition of land, Pawar said.