Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Don't do 'land grabbing' in the name of SEZs

Posted online: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 1407 hours IST
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 0942 hours IST

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 16: Newly-elected president of industry body Assocham
and Videocon chief Venugopal Dhoot said he was against ‘land grabbing’
in the name of SEZs and the chamber would take farmers on board while
pursuing industrialisation.
"Assocham is against land grabbing. We are for farmers and when we
undertake industrialisation we would like to convince them that it is
for their benefit," Dhoot told PTI in his first interview before
assuming office.

With controversies surrounding land acquisition for SEZs and other
industrial projects in many parts of the country, Dhoot reiterated there
was "no sense in making SEZs by compromising the interest of farmers".

His comments come in the backdrop of protests against Indonesia's Salim
Group's Special Economic Zone at Nandigram in West Bengal, Tata Motors'
car project at Singur and against SEZs in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and
Maharashtra among others.

On the issue of rehabilitation policy proposed by the Prime Minister, he
said the chamber would support it.

Asked if Assocham was ready to speak to politicians who were agitating
against acquisition of farm land for industrial purpose, Dhoot said: "As
a chamber we do not believe in talking to individuals. If any issue has
to be taken up then we will speak to governments, including chief

Dhoot, whose group has been active in global takeovers, said government
should provide support and incentives to parent Indian companies that
are investing overseas.

"If the Tatas succeed in acquiring Corus, they should be given tax
benefits here proportionate to their investment abroad," he said, adding
this would not violate any WTO norms.



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