Land acquired for SEZs in Maharashtra to be now turned into industrial hubs


Author(s):
Anupam Chakravartty, downtoearth
Issue Date:
2013-1-4

New industrial policy follows denotification of SEZ land after promoters backed out of 16 deals

Land acquired for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Maharashtra will be turned into integrated industrial areas (IIAs), according to a new industrial policy announced by Maharashtra government. While land rights activists have slammed the government for the move which is likely to benefit real estate developers in the state, the policy will be giving tax incentives to  micro and small manufacturing enterprises (MSME) in the state. Further,  the new industrial policy envisages Ultra Mega Industrial Areas, attracting an investment of Rs 1500 crore each.

On Wednesday, the state Cabinet agreed on the industrial policy, which was delayed by one year. According to state industries secretary, Manu Kumar Srivastava, about 124 SEZs planned in the state over 23,000 hectares have now being denotified. Meanwhile, in the last one year, owing to the global recession and heavy taxes, 16 SEZ developers backed out from their deals, causing the government a loss of Rs 27,000 crore. The policy has called for the creation of the IIAs in which promoters of now de-notified special economic zones (SEZs) would have to put 60 per cent for industrial purpose, 30 per cent for residential and 10 per cent for commercial purposes.

In a statement issued to the media, state industries minister Narayan Rane said that the government is giving developers a chance to de-notify their SEZs and build IIAs. “This will allow developers to use 60 per cent land within the SEZ area for industrial purpose and 40 per cent land for non-industrial purpose, which includes building townships and developing social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals,” Rane said.

Developers favoured

The move has not gone down well with activists and state opposition parties, including Nationalist Congress Party. While political parties have labelled the industrial policy as “housing” policy, accusing the government for favouring real estate developers, what activists feared earlier during the anti-SEZ stir in the state has turned out to be true. “The land forcibly acquired or purchased from farmers will now be turned into real estate by the private developers,” said the Convenor of the Action Committee against Globalisation, Ulka Mahajan, from Raigad district in Maharashtra which witnessed large-scale protests against land acquisition for SEZ.

The new policy aims to target investments worth Rs 5 lakh crore, twice the projected amount in the previous policy of 2006. Interestingly, the state government is not looking at foreign investment or big investments from foreign companies due to the global economic slowdown. “Therefore, we have decided to boost the local MSME,” adds Srivastava. The policy now offers concessions in value added tax (VAT) for the sector. MSMEs proposed in the backward districts of Maharashtra, which has been classified as C, D and D+ category on the human development index, will get subsidy of 0.75 paise to Re 1 on every unit of power consumed by them.

 

 

NAPM- No land should be forcibly acquired for Private and PPP Projects


 

English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta

English: Medha Patkar in Sasthamkotta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

NAPM welcomes the decision to cancel 4 SEZs

 

 

No land should be forcibly acquired for Private and PPP Projects

 

 

Mumbai, August 1: The decision of the Maharashtra Government to cancel 4 SEZ projects which were proved to be illegal & unjust, on one ground or other, brings a hope to the people’s struggles for justice & against land grabbing. These projects were stalled by the common people, farmers to fishworkers, and women as well as youngsters who were at the forefront of the struggle.

 

 

 

The issues were clear & justifiable. Land to be acquired for private corporates is an illegitimate and unconstitutional act. When the profit-motives are clear in these projects, earning crores of rupees, out of land & other sources of livelihood, these resources are received with the State facilitating them. It’s this role of the State which is bullying & ousting our rural folk that was objected by the natural resource based communities, asserting their right to approve or disapprove the project which the State government has ultimately admitted.

 

 

 

The non-violent struggles are raising basic questions of inequity which is a clear outcome of SEZ Act & similar moves promoting corporatisation. We question and oppose industries which are land & water-intensive, capital intensive but not labour intensive and their impacts on ecologies, neither mitigated nor compensated. It is unfortunate the more sustainable & employment generating, local resource-based industries proposed by the movements as alternative options are negated by the governments. People are certainly not for the industrialisation at the cost of agricultural, since food security and livelihood is certainly our first priority. The whole model of SEZ with subsidised land, water, electricity, outside the jurisdiction of the gram sabhas and panchayats, tax holidays and exemptions is a blot on democracy and sovereignty of both, people & the State.

 

 

 

It’s obvious that all tactics & manoeuvring efforts by the Corporates failed in this regard & the State level ministers couldn’t carry out their initial agenda of joining hands with Corporates earning out of these projects. It’s, however, an ultimate victory of the firm view, clear perspective & perseverent strategy, along with an all pervasive analysis of the fraud that SEZ Act & projects are. Maharashtra cabinet too deserves a pat for this pro-people decision. Even though this is later, but better late than never. They should, without any delay must remove restrictions & reservations put up, on the titles of the landholders. If this cancellation is to bring in another project like Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor at the cost of farms & farmers, that will also face the same fate, we warn. We continue to fight the battle for cancellation of the undemocratic & unconstitutional SEZ Act, 2005.

 

 

 

We would also like to mention that the proposed amendments being brought out by the UPA government to the SEZ Act is not going to alter our opposition to the Act since, they are only aimed at facilitating land grab. Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act is also going to facilitate the land grab for private corporations and we oppose this. People’s Movements will thwart every attempt at subverting the laws of the country and handing over the precious natural resources to the predatory corporations. It’s time the governments across the country listened to the voices of dissent and worked in favour of the majority of the population.

 

 

 

Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe, Suniti S. R., Medha Patkar

 

 

 

For details contact : 9423571784 / 9818905316

 

 

 

Bowing to local opposition, Maharashtra government cancels four SEZs including Mahindra and Mahindra’s #goodnews


 

Mahindra Group Logo

Mahindra Group Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

30 JUL, 2012,, ET

 

MUMBAI: Bowing to opposition from the local communities, Maharashtra government today cancelled four proposed Special Economic Zones(SEZs).

 

The decision was taken at a meeting between Industries Minister Narayan Rane and board members of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation here.

 

“We have cancelled four SEZs, which were facing strong opposition from the locals,” Rane told reporters later.

 

Mahindra and Mahindra SEZ was to come up on 3,000 thousand hectares in Mawal in Pune districtIndia Bulls SEZ was to come up on 1,936 hectares at Ranjankhar, Raigad district. Videocon Realty and Infrastructure SEZs were to come up at Gandheli, Aurangabad and at Pune‘s Wagholi, on areas of 2,763 and 1,000 hectares respectively.

 

“The locals, especially the farmers, were strongly against these SEZs. At Gandheli, police even had to lathicharge (to disperse the protests),” said Rane.

 

The senior Congress Minister also said that most of these lands were under irrigation, which was another reason. “We (MIDC) have adopted a policy wherein the land under irrigation is not acquired for the industrial purpose.