SEZs are here to stay: Kamal Nath

Friday, 20 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Special economic zones are here to stay as they are meant to boost industrialisation and exports, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said here Friday.

"SEZs are here to stay. There is an issue regarding acquisition of land in this and that has to be fair and transparent," Kamal Nath said referring to the recent violence in Nandigram, West Bengal, over locals protesting their land being acquired for setting up a chemical hub.

"SEZs are industrial clusters with an infrastructure meant for exports; for that, land has to be acquired in a fair manner and the government is looking for the rehabilitation of the farmers," the minister told a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"We have constraints on size because unlike China we cannot have a whole province declared as SEZ. In an SEZ what matters in the number of units and not size."

The government came out with the SEZ policy on April 5 after an empowered group of ministers reviewed the act and limited the size of a SEZ to 5,000 hectares. This decision is likely to impact Reliance Industries' two mega SEZs in Maha Mumbai and Haryana that are 10,000 hectares each.

However, Kamal Nath did say Wednesday that changes could be made to the policy if need be.
Source: IANS
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