Amid controversies relating to acquisition of farm land for industrial purposes in Singur, Nandigram and other parts of the country, the Government on Tuesday said the "sacred" ties of the tiller and the land should be respected.
"There is a sacred tie between the tiller and land. That tie can never be broken. Any attempt to snap the relationship between the tiller and the land is bound to face opposition," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas function in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also said on Monday that the government would finalise a new Rehabilitation Policy in three months time to deal with issues arising out of land acquisition for industrial use.
"There was no reason why spread of industrialisation should be a contentious process... Issues such as land acquisition and displacement of people and their rehabilitation should be transparently addressed," he had said.
Respecting the sacred tie between the tiller and the land, some instruments must be employed in agriculture as were employed in industry and services to bring about a dramatic change in the growth rate in agriculture, Chidambaram said.
The same instruments — investment and knowledge — have to be applied to modernise agriculture, he said.
Large sums of money must be put into irrigation, restoring agricultural infrastructure, recharging ground water, water harvesting, new fertilisers, new harvesting technology and new post-harvesting technologies, he said.
There is huge opportunity for private enterprises in agriculture, he said.