Govt. changes SEZ rehab rules, onus on developer to provide as per state policy

 

Vikas Dhoot

New Delhi, March 21: With the government still to give final shape to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s promise of a ‘humane’ National Relief and Rehabilitation policy for the project-affected, the Commerce Ministry today notified changes in rules for special economic zones, making SEZ developers solely responsible for rehabilitation of displaced persons, indicating that state governments should steer clear of acquiring land on behalf of developers.

The notification, issued ahead of a meeting of UPA and Left leaders called by the PM, stated “the developer shall make adequate provision for rehabilitation of displaced persons as per the relief and rehabilitation policy of the state government”.

To allay fears of real estate grabbing in the name of SEZs, the Commerce Ministry has also reduced the validity of ‘in-principle’ approvals from three years to one year. This should keep out ‘speculative’ developers and ensure that developers acquire the requisite land and make good their investment promises as soon as possible or risk losing their approvals altogether.

The validity for formal approval, however, remains three years as it’s not possible for a developer to get formal approval unless the land acquisition and other formalities with the state governments are complete within a year of getting an in-principle nod from the Board of Approvals.

on SEZ dharna, Tikait gets call from PMO

Express News Service

Posted online: Thursday, March 22, 2007

NEW DELHI, MARCH 21: The UPA government was reaching out to Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Mahendra Singh Tikait as it met the kisan leader who was camping in the capital to demand scrapping of the Special Economic Zone Law of 2005 calling it an “undemocratic way of making use of farmers’ land for industrialistion”.

On Wednesday evening, Tikait held an exhaustive meeting at the PMO, shortly before the UPA dinner, along with members of the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (ICCFM) who say the SEZ law will only benefit big companies while fertile farmland will be acquired at throwaway prices. The farmers movement also held a demonstration in this connection on Wednesday.

The farmers have asked the UPA government to stop farmers’ suicides by waiving their loans. They also asked agriculture to be kept outside the purview of world trade. They asked the government to keep a tab on prices and to stop commercialisation of agriculture. The coordination committee wants the government to scrap the Indo-US pact on Agriculture and Seed Bill, 2005 as well.

The meeting in the PMO came against the backdrop of efforts to rope in the kisan leader using his base in Western Uttar Pradesh to help the Congress in the coming Assembly polls. Other members of the coordination committee are Yudhvir Singh, Sardar Gumnaam Singh and Ajmer Singh Lakhowal.

Andhra should set up at least 10 knowledge SEZs: Assocham

KVVV CHARYA

http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?…

Posted online: Monday, March 19, 2007 at 0000 hours IST

HYDERABAD :  In the next seven years, Andhra Pradesh can become a ‘knowledge centre’ for the world, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce (Assocham). In a blueprint, titled ‘Winds of Investments are towards Andhra’, Assocham suggests that the state has the potential to attract over Rs 1,50,000 crore investment in the next seven years. The blueprint, submitted to chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy by Assocham president Venugopal N Dhoot recently, was prepared by a group of professionals after field visits and interaction with officials.

‘‘We are confident that the state has enough potential — resources, proactive government and technically qualified manpower — which is sufficient to attract the investments,’’ Dhoot told the media.

The document points out that the state produces over 80,000 engineering graduates, 10,000 management graduates and over 3.50 lakh English-speaking workforce annually— and this is its greatest advantage.

The anticipated investment is capable of creating four lakh jobs additionally, besides increasing the state’s export share from 4.39% to 10% by the year 2012.

But this can be achieved only if Andhra Pradesh prepares a blueprint for establishing 10 Knowledge Special Economic Zones (K-SEZs) and 10 Agri-Processing Special Economic Zones (A-SEZs). This apart, it should act as a catalytic agent in promoting biotechnology, nano-technology, robotics, knowledge agriculture; promote institutes of professional excellence.

On its part, Assocham would take up the job of training small-time farmers by establishing about 200 agri-training institutes. Dhoot said the KL Chugh (former ITC, MD) committee to prepare the draft project paper to be submitted to the Planning Commission to get central funding. ‘‘We expect active partnership from the state government to proceed on the project,’’ he said. DS Rawat, secretary-general, Assocham, said a few corporates had evinced interest in the project. However, the modalities would be worked out after the Chugh committee submitted its report.

Is blood rain in Nandigram the begining of the end of left rule ?

http://premendra.wordpress.com/2007/03/19/is-blood…

Give full marks to Marx. Congress and Left have fixed the political cricket match. UPA vowed to wipe out farmers and soldiers in the land of India. Management and love guru should go to WB and naxal area

Rajniti ka asli rang kya hai, koi mujh se puche. Maine rajniti ka sabse ghinona chehra dekha hai. Jiske aage Ravan ke dus chehre bedag hain

The Left Front has begun to distance itself from Buddhadeb and and say they feel let down. The opposition parties, on their part, staged a walkout in the state Assembly and have called for his dismissal.

Also, the Calcutta High Court took up the case suo motu and ordered a CBI inquiry against the government’s actions. I2 hours strike called by Trinmool Congress and 24 hors strike called by BJP have great impact on the West Bengal to shut schools, offices, and shops in India’s communist-ruled state of West BengalThe bloody matter is hot up in the parliament.

So, is this the beginning of the end for Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and later the rule of left front in West Bengal?

Most part of this article is written as ‘Byaj ninda’Give full marks to MarxMarx considered the peasantry to be disorganized, dispersed, and incapable of carrying out change. The impact of drought gripping India on the farmers would vindicate Karl Marx who did not include agriculturists in his definition of revolutionary proletariat as he felt that their dependence upon nature made them superstitious. Left being atheists also not treat tribal as their partner of revolution because tribal worship the nature Sun, Mountain, River etc.

When Mamta Banerjee was on hunger strike on Singrur issue than spreading salt on the wounds PM Manmohan reached Kolkata to say that Buddhadeb is best CM of India. Buddhadeb agreed by saying, “We are not building communism in
West Bengal. Neither are we building socialism. We are building capitalism Workers have been laid off, unviable public sector units have either been closed or put up for divestment, foreign firms come in and Unions go out.”

‘Bujho to jaane?’
West Bengal government killed farmers in Nandigram through armed police and Leftists make half century of killing policemen in Chhattisgarh.

Congress is active partner in the centre but in West Bengal it is sleeping partner of Left parties. Symbolically they have made marriage of convenience. Product of it is Naxalites. Home Minister says Naxalites are their children. Somnath Chattejee says naxals are not criminals.

Mao s thought: we can rely fully on the weapon of the people’s democratic dictatorship, unite the people throughout the country, the reactionaries excepted, and advance steadily to our goal.

There are two classes of Maoist – political cadres, who organise people, & people’s army, which fights

Marxim of poor and world labor unity is against capitalism of farmers:

NANDIGRAM: The quest for FDI acquired a bloody hue on Wednesday. A 5,000-strong police force marched into Nandigram — the country’s symbol of problems associated with land acquisition for industry — and fired on protesting villagers and activists, leaving at least 12 dead and over 50 injured. The official death count is 11.

SEZ and coffee

SEZ and COFFEE

Revolutions are not made; they come
——Wendell Philips
Hmmmm..…Bangladesh defeats India in 1st World Cup Match, David conquers Golliath. Big…really big. I have been watching a so called Post Match analysis show on a premier News Channel. Even at 3 AM in the morning, people are awake and attending road interviews, calling up News Channels….well, Cricket has been and will be a RELIGION in the country, no doubt about it !! As one of the Blue Billion, I still expect some real good and spirited performance in the coming month..ha ha !
But where is Nandigram??? Not so much spirited efforts from our BILLION, eh !! Well , I updated myself little bit about it……Mr. L K Advani compared Jalianwalabagh with Nandigram…..or the other way round ?? Little bit confused about that……tell me somebody clearly. Why cannot we stop comparing with past? Is not the incident shameful enough to be cited in HISTORY alone on it’s own merit or demerit? I don’t know. Madam Mamata is fearing for her life again……well how many deaths she expects to die??? Don’t worry Madam, police bullets at least don’t touch famous politicians…..poor peasants are easy targets. And stop burning state run buses and damaging Government properties in the name of public apathy. They are made of our money, the Tax payers’ money….and you Politicians better keep off from them. The people who call themselves Naxals, are giving updates ……No. of dead people….20(14th March),50(15th March); No. of Raped Women….N.A.(14th March),500(15th March)……two days have passed……with this kind of pace of activity, you people expect to build “The New Democratic State” !! Well, well, you must be arranging the ammunitions …after all Mao Tse-Tung said “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”,right??
Anyway, what am I doing??? Sitting in home and watching World Cup of a Sport, which is unknown to 70-80% of the human inhabitants on Earth and blaming everybody but myself!! But what to do? Am I clear about what is the root of the problem? Frankly, the answer is NO.
I heard that it is all about something called SEZ….now what the hell is that? Need to update myself, otherwise as the wise men say,I will never be able to BELL the CAT!!
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country’s typical economic laws. Usually the goal is an increase in foreign investment. One of the earliest and the most famous Special Economic Zones were founded by the government of the People’s Republic of China in the early 1980s. According to World Bank estimates, as of 2007 there are more than 3,000 projects taking place in SEZs in 120 countries worldwide, including China, Russia,Poland,Ukraine,India,Iran and others.
Govt. of India started it to promote FDI as well as Entrepreneurship in the country in 2000. The policy was introduced with a view to provide an internationally competitive and hassle free environment for exports. The policy provides for setting up of SEZ’s in the public, private, joint sector or by State Governments. It was also envisaged that some of the existing Export Processing Zones would be converted into Special Economic Zones. Accordingly, the Government has converted Export Processing Zones located at Kandla and Surat (Gujarat), Cochin (Kerala), Santa Cruz (Mumbai-Maharashtra), Falta (West Bengal), Madras (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) into Special Economic Zones. In addition, 3 new Special Economic Zones approved for establishment at Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Manikanchan – Salt Lake (Kolkata) and Jaipur have since commended operations. The booty offered as per SEZ Act 2005 includes exemptions Under Customs Act, Central Excise Act, Finance Act and Central Sales Act and many others.
Under the same SEZ Act, it is mentioned as below:
The Central Government, while notifying any area as a Special Economic Zone or an additional area to be included in the Special Economic Zone and discharging its functions under this Act, shall be guided by the following, namely:-
a) generation of additional economic activity
b) promotion of exports of goods and services;
c) promotion of investment from domestic and foreign
sources;
d) creation of employment opportunities;
e) development of infrastructure facilities; and
f) maintenance of sovereignty and integrity of India, the
security of the State and friendly relations with foreign States
.”
The fundamental question what rose in my mind was Whether These Six Parameters apply to the Nandigram SEZ proposal or not. Nandigram is a rural area in East Midnapur district of West Bengal ,consisting of mainly poor and middle class farmers. Poor Transport conditions and Communication systems make the situation worse. The area is farmed as multi corps and partially used as fishing pond in off seasons. The proposed SEZ by Salim Group, Indonesia would require over 14000 acres of Land. Putting up this effort at Nandigram would have clearly meant of adversely affecting livelihood of 40000 people. Not only that, the deal offered was at much under valued rates compared to Urban Real Estate Business. It partially makes sense, when the Land is Barren or Wasteland. But one cannot play with the only economic resource of poor people. So there was resistance, anger. When CPI(M) pushed people at their back with the aid of State Machinery, they had no other choice left but to reply back. The return reaction by CPI(M) viz. State Govt. is now in front of our eyes.
With the nature of Records and Profile, Salim Group possess, there is serious doubt in my mind whether aforementioned Point No. d was taken care off. And with the fascist nature of State Govt. and present shocking developments, it is very CLEAR that the security of the STATE has been jeopardized. No STATE is SECURE unless and until the citizens are secured. Land does not define a STATE, people define.
Though I also believe that FDI monitored by State and Entrepreneurship are the ways to provide a boost in country’s Economic growth, we must not forget that Agriculture is our Backbone. There is no point in Working Out Relentlessly and Building Up Your Biceps, if it harms your Spinal Chord. When you do it ignorantly, it is a Mistake; when you do it knowingly, it is a CRIME.
MISTAKES are forgiven, CRIMES are not.
FOOTNOTE: Forgot to mention about the Post Title. Initially gave—-“Revolution Awaits”….But started with a Cup of Coffee and Ended Up after Four. Still feeling to get one more and some Bread. So changed the TITLE!! As Maxim Gorky rightly said——
In our present state of culture, hunger of the mind is more quickly satisfied than hunger of the body.”…Ha ha ha
I request everybody, who read my Non-Sense and is little bit of shocked with Nandigram episode, PLEASE put your signature in the following Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/nandigra/petition.html

Posted by liondenemea/surya at 4:34 PM

Justice V. Krishan Iyer’ letter to Prakash Karat on Nandigram

My dear Prakash Karat,

            I adore you as the top leader of the Marxist Party even as I hold Com. Jyoti Basu as a creative wonder of the Communist Marxist Party.  As you know, I remained in power with the Communist Government in 1956 in Kerala under the charismatic Chiefministership of EMS, the great Leftist thinker.  But alas!, in West Bengal things are murky, capitalism is happy, poor peasantry is in privation and deprivation, if newspaper reports throw light on events objectively.   We, in 1957, came to power by the ballot and rarely, if ever, used the bullet, with the result the police violence was hardly an instrument against the peasantry. 

Look at the contrast.  The brutality and bloodshed, at the instance of the police force is now bulleting of humble humanity.  I had and have great hopes that the Marxists if in power, will rule with compassionate ideology and win votes and people’s co-operation beyond party barriers.  But to my horror, the terror practiced yesterday at Nandigram fills me with dread and disappointment. The illusion of exploitative power has led the ministry to govern by the gun.  The consequent bloodshed demands your urgent attention and commands the party’s authority to arrest the frequency of bloodshed policy and police barbarity.  Sri. Sumit Chakravartty telephoned me last night about the police misuse of firepower.  If true, I protest and entreat you and the party to take immediate action and restore the basic proposition that Communist Government is not power with violent weapons.  And action at party level must be taken if governance over humanity is for the benefit of the peasantry.  I am sure, thousands like me will be shocked by the Nandigram incident.  Please, please have some regard for those who feel that socialism is not terrorism, but humanism; and misrule by gun will not be the rule of the Left in State authority.  Do forgive me for expressing my strong feelings with the expectation that the Left Administration believe and practice as a fundamental for the humble people, not for the proprietariat with the brute force of the bullet.

     With high regards,

      Yours sincerely,                    

                              ( V.R. KRISHNA IYER)

To,                           

       Sri. Prakash Karat                         

       General Secretary

       Communist Party of India (Marxist)

      New Delhi

SEZ policy should be scrapped

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsN…

GIRISH KUBER

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007 03:59:54 AM]

MUMBAI: The Manmohan Singh government should scrap its SEZ policy as many lacunas in it have been exposed, the threat to food security being just one, says BJP MP Kashiram Rana, also the convenor of the parliamentary committee on SEZs.
In an exclusive interview to ET, a day after 15 lives were lost in Nandigram, West Bengal, in a protest against a chemical hub in the region, the BJP leader from Gujarat lashed out at the Centre’s obsession for SEZs. His views assume significance because as head of the Parliamentary panel he had recently toured Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Orissa and Karnataka, where many SEZs are coming up.
In Mumbai last month, Mr Rana minced no words criticising the Vilasrao Deshmukh government for being “hand-in-glove with SEZ developers”. The committee will submit its report to Parliament in the current session.
“Time has come for the government, and particularly the Group of Ministers led by defence minister Pranab Mukherjee to revisit the whole issue. Considering the developments across the country, the existing policy needs to be scrapped,” he said. When pointed out that the SEZ idea had been his party’s (the BJP) creation, Mr Rana said it was more balanced than the current policy.
“We had a clear idea of core and non-core business activities that would be allowed in SEZ territories. And most importantly we never wanted agriculture land to be used for these zones,” he said.
According to Mr Rana, the most important changes the current policy needs pertains to use of agriculture land for SEZs. “The policy allows single crop land for SEZs.
But even in single crop land, farmers carry out lot of allied activities such as growing seasonal fruits or horticulture. How can one measure the farmers’ losses?” he asked and went on to suggest that there should be a blanket ban on using such land for SEZs.
However, he is not against SEZs. “I’m not against these zones. But my point is that there is enough barren, unused or waste land available in the country. Why not make such land open for SEZs,” he said. Mr Rana is also concerned about India’s food security.
“Our agricultural production has been falling drastically. It’s a matter of serious concern. Preventing use of agriculture land for industrialisation could be one way of arresting this decline,” Mr Rana feels.
girish.kuber@timesgroup.com