WB CM calls for fresh look at SEZs scheme

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today urged the Centre to take a fresh look at the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) scheme.

Addressing the 54th National Development Council (NDC) meeting here Mr Bhattacharjee said industry groups should be first identified and covered under the scheme, instead of extending it to all sundry.

As per the minimum land requirement prescribed, there should be an upper ceiling of land as well as for a particular type of SEZ.

Within that ceiling, percentage of land area to be compulsorily utlised for industries as against uses should also be carefully worked out and prescribed, he said.

He said it was high time that the industrial incentive scheme of the Central Government be confined to Northeastern States and Jammu and Kashmir only, as otherwise the neighbouring States had not been getting a level playing field.

''The investment in infrastructure has been proposed to be increased from 5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006-07 to 9 per cent by 2011-12. To acheive an annual growth rate of 9 per cent, we have to invest much more in infrastructure. It has been estimated in the document that to achieve the targeted annual average growth rate of 9 per cent over the 11th plan period, the aggregate capital formation in infrastructure over the same period should be to the tune of Rs 20 lakh crore, of which 30 per cent is to come from the private sector, directly as well as through Private Public Particpation (PPP), where desirable and feasible,'' he West Bengal CM said.

He also stressed the need for expeditng the construction work of the Delhi-Kolkata dedicated railway freight corridor, the deep sea port and the shipyard as well as the modernisation work of the existing Airport in the State.

The CM said the Sunderban Delta because of its fragile eco-system and the three international rivers- Ganga, Teesta and Ichamati should be treated on a separate footing. He said the State Goverment had sought Central support for socio-economic development of Sunderban region, tackling the gigantic problem of Ganga-Padma erosion, the Ichamati drainage problem with cross-border implication and for early completion of Teesta Project.

He suggested that States and Centre should jointly introduce the Goods and Services Tax so that there may be revenue gains at the end of the plan period.


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