Thousands of hectares of arable land are being converted to Special Economic Zones and handed over to Powerful Industrial Houses under the assumption that it would promote Industrialization and solve the nagging problem of unemployment.
No basic principles have been followed while allocating these Special economic Zones.
1. Non Transparent Decision making processes in selection and allocation of SEZ’s.
2. Misuse of Law (Right of Eminent Domain) and forcible acquisition of land.
3. Rehabilitation packages lacking credibility and proper compensation.
India’s SEZ scheme seems to have been inspired by China, where the conditions and approach are completely different from the present Indian scenario.
Unfair concessions on Tax, Electricity, Water and Land Prices are being awarded to these Industrial houses. Adding to this is the fact that environmental impacts (Pollution of local water bodies) have not been considered.
In order to address these issues there should be a paradigm change in the attitude of the government.
The discussions in class based on this case were primarily centered around the fact that we need to have this scheme revisited or even removed. I would second this as my thoughts will further explain:
SEZ will have to be setup only after complete impact analysis is conducted, the pros and Cons should be identified and the Cons should be addressed immediately. I strongly believe that as part of a Democratic Country our laws and decisions should be people centric.
“Just Environments” need to be implemented. Proper remuneration and rehabilitation packages should be awarded to the beneficiaries. This process should be done with immediate effect and should be bound by law.
Blind inspiration from our Neighboring countries will not help address our cause, it will be advisable to study the market conditions and adopt a policy to suit our needs.
Resources such as land and water should also be considered...