Opposition, activists ask Govt to fight for scrapping of SEZs

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Panaji, Jan 3 (UNI) Urging the Goa government to fight with the Centre for scrapping all the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), opposition parties and anti-SEZ activists expressed concern over 'nonchalant' attitude of the Centre on the issue here today.

The BJP had even threatened to file police complaints against the politicians and officers of the State Industrial Development Corporation, seeking probe into ''criminal conspiracy'' in the allotment of huge chunks of land to the beneficiaries much before the government had approved the SEZ policy on June 5, 2006.

Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar said it was for the State Government to persuade the centre for totally scrapping the SEZs by bringing ''facts including the fraud'' played by certain politicians and vested interests on land assignment for selfish ends.

At the sametime, he had also asked the Centre that it should immediately ''denotify'' the three SEZs in deference to the wishes of the people of Goa. If necessary, the law may be amended, he said.

CPI leader Christopher Fonseca had even demanded the Centre to scrap the very pro-imperialist SEZ Act ab initio as it was aimed at nationaliszing the losses and privatising profits with no laws prevailing in the SEZs.

He, however, favoured rapid industrialisation of Goa with agriculture almost non-existing, mining activity poised to disappear within a decade and tourism taken over by international forces with no considerable employment to Goans assured.

Goa's Movement Against SEZs(GMAS), which reviewed the situation today arising out of Union Commerce Ministry secretary Gopal Pillai's statement that the Centre had powers to ''denotify'' the SEZs, demanded the State Government to assert its right so that people's will prevailed ultimately.

The GMAS, in its emergency meeting, urged the legislators to adopt a resolution in the winter session of the State Assembly for scrapping of all the SEZs, Food Parks, IT parks, IT retreats, IT resorts and IT habitats, townships and new industrial estates.

The statement of the secretary smacks of neo-colonialism and runs totally counter to the wishes of the people of Goa, its convenor and former minister Mathanhy Saldanha said.

Meanwhile, Union Commerce and Industries Minister Kamal Nath assured Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in Delhi that there was provision in law to notify and denotify SEZs, adding that the Centre would not thrust SEZs on states.

The Chief Minister had airdashed to Delhi to end the imbroglio on the issue through a dialogue with Mr Nath.

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