Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: Industrialist Ratan Tata on Friday criticised controversies over giving agricultural land for industry, saying people propagating farmers’ cause should do something to boost their (farmers’) prosperity.

“Such concerns are valid. They are supposedly in the interest of agriculture and are seemingly politically motivated. But do such agitators provide inputs to farmers that will boost their productivity,” he asked.

Mr. Tata was here in connection with the annual general meeting of Tata Tea.

On the Tata’s small car project at Singur, he said there were efforts to delay the project but the Tatas would use their capabilities to make good such delays.

Justifying the location of the car project at Singur, he said the group felt that the eastern region and West Bengal had been neglected for long, and someone had to make a start.

“We risked putting a very large project and we had to put it at a place where it would have visibility. We wanted the plant to be a showcase for West Bengal — we wanted a project of which the people would not feel ashamed of but would rather take pride in.”

He said West Bengal was an investment-friendly State with an enlightened government and a very pragmatic Chief Minister. The State had great potential, he said.