Kerala SEZs hit roadblock

September 24th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 24 (IANS) Ten applications for establishing special economic zones (SEZs) that the state committee of Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) had cleared last week failed to win cabinet approval Wednesday.Emerging from the weekly cabinet meeting, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan attempted to brush aside reporters’ questions on why the applications had not been approved.

“I will tell you about it when the cabinet meets next week and all the applications would be cleared. There are no issues in the cabinet on this and we are not divided,” Achuthanandan said tersely.

“There is no need to get another ratification from the LDF. The next cabinet meeting will clear these applications,” the chief minister added.

The main opposition has now come from the Communist Party of India (CPI), which is insisting that the state first frame laws in line with the central government’s SEZ Act of 2005 before sanctioning the SEZs.

There are reports that the CPI, at its state committee meeting Tuesday, instructed its four ministers in the cabinet to insist that no sanctions be given without a clear cut policy on the issue.

The CPI has for long has been harping on the need to come out with a policy document by way of an ordinance.

The opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) that met here today also asked the state government to proceed with caution.

“The state government should frame its own laws. If there are no laws, then any conditions that the government may put (while sanctioning SEZs) will not stand,” UDF convenor P.P. Thankachen told reporters here.

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