Delhi meet to set anti-SEZ agenda, says Patkar


All praise for Goa — the only state to have unambiguously said no to SEZs — Patkar made clear the alliance of NGOs was not averse to a “multi stakeholder forum”, with the corporate sector, government and political class on board for a meaningful debate on the issue. But no decision would be taken till the national audit, which will define whether the future strategy would be a return to the agitation mode or the use of some other means, she said.
She said nearly 1000 SEZs have been planned so far in the country, 500 of them have been approved and 250 notified. Lakhs of hectares of privately owned agricultural land has been diverted for SEZs. “These are privileged zones provided with water and power, and its operators have been granted tax concessions running into crores of rupees.” China, in comparison, has only seven state-owned special economic zones.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan who was among the panelists at the public audit on Goa SEZs said all across the country the SEZs represented a thinly disguised land grab fraud involving corrupt CMs and bureaucrats.

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