Fear of litigation halts SEZ de-notification: Goa chief minister

November 20th, 2009 - 11:23 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said fear of litigation had forced the central government to go slow on the de-notification of three special economic zones (SEZ) allotted to the state.
Speaking to IANS Thursday, Kamat, who met union minister for commerce and industry Anand Sharma during his visit to New Delhi earlier this week, said no central government could impose any policy on a state against the latter’s wishes.

“I think the central government is afraid they might get caught in court matters. That is why they are taking double care,” Kamat said, when asked about the delay in the de-notification of three SEZ projects in Goa.

“The state government has already taken the decision to withdraw the SEZ policy,” Kamat said.

He said even Congress party president Sonia Gandhi had assured the people of Goa that the SEZ policy would not be imposed on the state.

The three notified SEZ were cancelled earlier this year, after the government caved in under ‘popular opposition’ against the projects. The state government has scrapped 12 other SEZ projects in Goa, which had been proposed but not notified.

In June this year, Kamat had met Sharma and urged him to expedite the process of de-notifying the three notified SEZs in Goa, which were to have been set up by Meditab Specialities (over 123 hectares), Peninsula Pharma Research Centre (20.36 hectares) and K. Raheja Corp (106 hectares).

Cabinet ministers like power minister Aleixo Sequeira think the SEZs should go ahead.

“My stand has been open. I am in support of SEZ. I also believe that plots that have been allotted are for a good purpose. The industries that were to come up were clean and non-polluting,” Sequeira said, adding that the SEZs would help offset rising unemployment in Goa.

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