Cong lacks political will to denotify Goa SEZs: BJP

Panaji, Jan 26 | Updated: Jan 27 2008, 04:14am hrs
The BJP on Saturday accused the Digamber Kamat-led Goa government of lacking in political will to denotify three special economic zones (SEZs) in Goa.

There is no political will on the part of Congress-led state government to denotify three SEZs, and this will be proved over a period of time, leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said.

Talking at the sidelines of Republic Day parade here, Parrikar said that the BJP is ready to cooperate with the Congress at the Centre to denotify these three SEZs.

The Communist party is also willing to cooperate. Only Congress needs a political will to step ahead and get them denotified, the former chief minister said.

On the New Year eve, Goa chief minister Kamat had declared willingness to scrap 12 out of 15 SEZs. The government had later written to the Centre seeking to denotify three SEZs, which were approved by the board of approval.

However, the denotification issue had kicked off a controversy with the board of approval expressing some reservations. Later, the Goa chief minister met the commerce minister Kamal Nath seeking his intervention on the issue.

Why is government shying away from making the white paper on SEZs public Why is the chief minister not making public the letter he wrote to the Centre seeking to denotify three SEZs, Parrikar questioned, alleging that the stategovernment is handling the entire process half-heartedly.

The leader of Opposition also alleged that the government did not allow discussions on SEZs on the floor of the House during recent state Legislative Assembly Session.

I had moved 74 amendments to the governors speech, of which 36 were disapproved. These amendments comprised three on SEZs, three on health and also on International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Parrikar said.

He said if the chief minister acted in time then he would have had to face the burden of denotifying only one SEZ.

Two SEZs were notified during Kamats tenure on July 17 and November six last year, he said pointing out that the chief minister took the decision to scrap the SEZs after six months.

The SEZ controversy had rocked the state last year with anti-SEZ groups launching massive agitations. Besides NGOs, various political parties and even the Catholic Church had raised their banner against these industrial enclaves.

PTI