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Yunus supports land acqusition in Bengal

he state government received a further boost with support from Nobel Peace laureate and Bangladeshi economist, reports Drimi Chaudhuri.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 04:33 IST
Drimi Chaudhuri
Drimi Chaudhuri

he state government received a further boost with support from Nobel Peace laureate and Bangladeshi economist Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus, who supported the acquisition of agricultural land for the cause of industrialisation, in the city on Sunday.

"Farmers would have to part with their lands for setting up industries, because this would lead to economic growth," he told media persons after arriving at the Dumdum airport for a three-day visit to Kolkata.

Professor Yunus, however, pointed out that the state government should ensure that farmers are not affected badly in the process and that they are duly compensated. "There is also no scope for dispute over Special Economic Zones. We cannot sit idle over the issue since the world has already accepted the idea and we are already lagging behind," he said.

The economist, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his concept of banking through a system of micro-credit for poor people, said that it was possible to execute the Grameen Bank model in West Bengal.

"The bank aims at eradicating poverty from Bangladesh as well as from the rest of South Asia," he said.

The Nobel laureate further said in a recent meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, he said that the future of economic growth in the region was to create (SAARC) South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation conglomeration into a European Union like structure, where citizens would be SAARC passport holders and the regional boundaries would be smudged.

While he pointed out that it was not difficult to execute the Grameen Bank model in West Bengal, he said that he was keen on launching a new social project.

"I want to launch another project named 'Social Business' to ensure health, drinking water and housing for people. While the purpose of this project would be to curb the tendency to make profit out of such projects, people should come forward and take up such projects on their own. The involvement of government should be spared," Dr Yunus stated.

State finance minister Dr Asim Dasgupta, who received the Nobel laureate at the airport, said that Professor Yunus was invited by the state government for a visit on April 6 and 7 as the government decided to honour him with a public reception.

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First Published: Feb 12, 2007 04:33 IST

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