‘New industrial policy provides an option on land locked in SEZs’
BG:The SEZ subject is based on the premise of creating an entirely new entity meant to promote exports, brought to make industry more competitive. It was perceived as “anti-farmer”. Maharashtra had started 144 SEZs. In the meantime, due to opposition, the Centre introduced tax changes and imposed minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax on SEZ companies. Though the SEZ concept remained, it became non-viable. The question arose what to do with the land locked in SEZs, whether it can be put to good industrial use. The new industrial policy provides an option.
Shubhangi Khapre:You have vast tracts of land, why should you take agriculture land for industries?
In principle, I agree that no land under irrigation, agriculture or bagayati land should be put to industrial use. But mere farm land and waste land that gives one crop a year is not sustainable even for farmers. Wherever there were private SEZs, the companies went to the market and bought land directly from owners of such land. These were private transactions. Of the 144 SEZs, 104 are private, land bought from farmers.
P Vaidyanathan Iyer:Did the government provide land to SEZs in any SEZs?
In two: One by MIDC and one by CIDCO. In one SEZ, which required about 5,000 hectares, MIDC Act was applied to acquire the land and for that we got 26 per cent sweat equity.
P Vaidyanathan Iyer:How much land was forcibly acquired using section 4?
None in the
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