50 MoUs ready for signing at Global Agri summit in Karnataka

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PTI | 25 November 2011
Today, the cabinet of India's Centrall Government approved a reform to open up the country's retail sector to foreign corproations, a move millions of India's small vendors vow to fight against. The reform will give multinationals like Walmart greater control over food procurement and supply in the country.

Bangalore: At least 50 MoUs involving an investment pledge of Rs 40,000 crore are ready to be inked by Karnataka at the two-day Global Agri Investors Meet here from December 1, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said today.

"Government expects to lure investments of Rs 51,727 crore at the Global Agri Investors conference," he told reporters.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Union Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily would attend the summit, he said.

In an apparent attempt to avoid protests from farmers who have expressed fears that the goverment would acquire their lands to give it to MNCs, Gowda urged them not to be carried away by "misinformation campaign" launched by some quarters. He said Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board and Karnataka State Industrial Investment Development Corporation have 1,000 acres while government has wasteland, which would be given to investors.

"No fertile land will be acquired. Only wasteland will be given to investors. Government is not supporting capitalists in this meet, aimed at giving stability to the agriculture sector, improve productivity and ensure remunerative prices to farmers," Gowda said.

He said government plans to improve cold storage chain, post-harvest techniques and food processing industries in the state to enhance export and create employment. He said countries like France, Netherland and Australia would participate in the meet, besides domestic investors. Development of special facilities of agriculture food processing industries, horticulture sector are expected to attract RS 36,000 crore investment, he said.
Original source: PTI
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