People’s audit of SEZ to include corporate, state members

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PANAJI - Corporate and government representatives will be included in a national forum to audit the controversial Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy but at a later stage, leading anti-SEZ activist Medha Patkar said Sunday.

In Goa with other activists to hear citizens’ concerns against the setting up of SEZs in the state, Patkar said all the multi-state people’s audit forum will later form a sort of a national commission on this issue.

“That (national commission) will decide a future strategy. Government and corporate representatives could have a stake in the process. They do not give us this space, but we will give it to them,” the Magsaysay award winner said.

Praising Goa for leading the way successfully against SEZs in the country, Patkar said other states needed to learn from the strategies and methods in which the Goan society forced the state government to denotify the policy of SEZ.

“There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from Goa struggle against SEZs. Goa is the only state, where people’s movements forced the state government to retract its SEZ policy,” Patkar said.

The audit has been jointly initiated by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Jagatikaran Virodhi Kriti Samiti, an alliance of several farmers’ organisations in SEZ areas, National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, National Centre for Advocacy Studies, the India Centre for Human Rights Lawyers Network and the Goa Bachao Abhiyaan.

The state government has already scrapped 12 proposed SEZs in Goa, in face of public opposition.

The state government is also in dialogue with the union Trade and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma urging him to expedite the process of de-notifying the three remaining SEZs in Goa, which includes Meditab Specialities Private Ltd (123.2 hectares), Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd (20.36 hectares) and K. Raheja Corp Pvt Ltd (106 hectares).

Filed under: Immigration

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