Tuesday, January 23, 2007

States' representation in SEZ-related policies urged

Our Bureau


New Delhi Jan. 22 The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of
India (Assocham) has called for representation of States in policy
matters related to SEZs.

The chamber has urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to
reconstitute a New Group of Ministers (NGoM) with representatives from
States to formulate within three months land acquisition and
rehabilitation policies for SEZ's proposals.

Until the new comprehensive policies packages are evolved by the NGoM
for SEZs, the pending proposals for clearances should be held to avoid
politicisation of the "much-needed SEZs," the chamber said.

In a note submitted to the Prime Minister's Office, the chamber
President, Mr Venugopal N. Dhoot, said: "SEZs are a must to achieve 10
per cent GDP growth, 25 per cent export acceleration for 10 consecutive
years and also create 15-17 lakh additional jobs in the next five years
with unlimited investment opportunities."

The current mandate of the GoM for SEZs is not as comprehensive and
diversified as it should have been, and does not sufficiently addresses
the issue of rehabilitation for acquisitions of agricultural land, it
said. It has suggested that IT SEZs be developed and made operational
within six months from the date of notification.

Thus, over 130 approved IT SEZs would immediately result in an
investment of $9-12 billion, leading to massive employment generation
and acceleration of exports of IT products and contribute significantly
to the creation of GDP.



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