October 30, 2006

SEZs enter crucial phase

WITH MORE than 230 of them sanctioned so far, special economic zones (SEZs) are no longer points of academic discussion in India. The implementation stage was always expected to be contentious, much more than the controversies surrounding the conception of SEZs. This certainly catches NRIs eye to jump in india investment and make real time money in real estate boom. Land acquisition for the zones was always expected to pose problems but the magnitude of protests seems to have caught the authorities by surprise. Besides land, there are other contentious issues connected with the SEZs. These include preferential tax treatment (leading to revenue loss for the exchequer) and the fear that they may accentuate existing regional disparities. The case for a uniform land acquisition policy, with resettlement and rehabilitation aspects thrown in, has never been stronger than now. But coming under State jurisdiction, formulating, leave alone implementing, such a policy by the Centre becomes impossible. Acquisition of farmland, especially for the purpose of developing SEZs (or for that matter any large industrial unit), is bound to be an emotional issue. ------------------------------------------------------ Source://The Hindu//