Kolkata: Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz on Wednesday said that State should have a role to play in acquiring large pieces of land for setting up industry.

"For those who want to acquire large tracts of land from fragmented ownership holdings, it is really a problem and land purchase becomes difficult," Stiglitz said on the sidelines of a seminar at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here.

The noted economist said this when pointed out that the present West Bengal government's declared stand was that it would not acquire land for setting up industry.

He said that land acquisition was really a sensitive issue across the world.

Citing the instance of Columbia University in the US, where he is a professor, Stiglitz said that a huge amount of land was needed for expansion of the 'varsity.

He said that the university was unable to acquire land on its own and the expansion process was halted. Ultimately, the local city government intervened arguing that it was in the interest of the people that the university expanded.

"Only then that the land acquisition process became a success," he said.