Wednesday, January 10, 2007

BJP for white paper on SEZs from the Centre

Staff Reporter

It should contain proposals and sanctions given so far: Naidu Under the
UPA regime, the SEZs are being converted into "real estate business", he

TIRUCHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded that the
Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government should come
out with a white paper on Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The Centre was giving permission "left and right" for setting up SEZs
without taking into account the interests of farmers, the BJP all-India
Vice- President, M. Venkaiah Naidu, claimed, while addressing the
party's State and district office-bearers here on Sunday.

The SEZ concept was initiated by the then National Democratic Alliance
led by the BJP and the party was in principle in favour of the concept.

However, under the UPA regime, the SEZs were being converted into "real
estate business," he charged.

The BJP, which had come out with some recommendations on this issue, was
of the view that no fertile irrigated lands of farmers should be taken
for establishing the SEZs. Though world over there were 369 SEZs, the
UPA government had given permission to set up 467 units.

Demanding that the Centre should come out with a detailed white paper on
the SEZs, Mr. Naidu said that it should contain the proposals and
sanctions given so far, rehabilitation package, among others. One of the
recommendations of the BJP on this issue was that within the SEZs, 60
per cent should be given for establishing manufacturing and processing

"Divisive agenda"

Attacking the UPA government, Mr. Naidu alleged that it was pursuing a
"divisive agenda" with an eye on the vote bank.

Though the Sachar Committee did not conduct a scientific study, the
Centre was keen to implement the report. Terming the report as "useless
and dangerous," he said that it would pave the way for communal
reservations and budgeting.

The Congress had ruled the country for several years in Parliament and
in Panchayats, yet the Muslims were in a state of backwardness all
along, he said adding that the interests of poor Muslims, Hindus and
Christians should be taken care of.

Mr. Naidu said the prices of essential commodities, fuel and cement had
all gone up in the last two-and-half years. Never before had the country
faced a crisis in the food front — importing wheat, pulses and oilseeds.
Yet, the Centre had no sensitivity on all these issues, he said.

The BJP, he said, had decided to go on a nationwide mass awakening
programme from January 16, highlighting the "anti-people" policies of
the Centre, he said.

Mr. Naidu also addressed a public meeting in the city.


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