The West Bengal government has started offering land parcels from unused land of existing industries and closed companies for developing new industries, commerce and industries minister Shashi Panja said on Thursday.

Significantly, this would be the first time when closed and unused industry land would be offered for new industries in the state.

Speaking at an event organised by industry body CII here, the minister informed that nine industrial parks have been set up with an accumulated land parcel of around 1739 acres, which would be offered to industry.

Panja said there are a lot of takers for the land identified at closed industries. Also, the government has received good response from the industry following its decision to allow conversion of leasehold land to freehold land.

Cabinet nod

The minister informed nine freehold proposals under the Industries Department have received cabinet nod so far. And, based on discussion with the land department, the aggregate number of land holding given on a freehold basis is around 35. “From an ease of doing business perspective, this is very encouraging,” she added.

Notably, issuing a notification in July last year, the state’s Land and Land Reforms Department allowed conversion of leasehold land settled for 30 years or 99 years lease period, including Kolkata “khasmahal land” and that of in various industrial estates and parks under the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBIIDC) and West Bengal Small Industries Development Corporation (WBSIDC).

As per the notification, for a lessee of 99 years, 15 per cent of the current market price of the land will be charged for conversation to freehold. For lessee of less than 30 years, 70 per cent of the current market price of the land is determined by the authority.