‘Smaller SEZs could have worked for Goa’

December 18th, 2010 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 18 (IANS) Goa could have benefitted from smaller special economic zone (SEZ) projects, rather than the seven land-intensive projects which were scrapped due to protests, a former chairman of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) said Saturday. Nitin Kuncolienkar, who was a vocal advocate of the SEZ projects, also said that the state government should not have scrapped the SEZ policy altogether.

“The Goa government should not have scrapped its SEZ policy in totality when state was given special consideration by the centre to have these industrial enclaves,” he said, adding that the government should not have succumbed to the pressure tactics from “some elements”.

He was speaking against the backdrop of what the opposition calls the SEZ land allotment scam.

Seven SEZ promoters were selected for setting up SEZs on 32 lakh sq mt of land spread in seven pockets across the state. The priomoters were Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd, Cipla group, Peninsular Pharma Research Ltd, Paradigm Logistic & Distributors, Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercentile Pvt Ltd and M/s Maxgrow.

The state government was forced to denotify the land allotment in face of stiff civil society protests a couple of years back. The SEZ promoters then approached the Panaji bench of the Bombay High court challenging the denotification decision, before the court quashed and set aside their application Nov 26.

While the court said the land allotments were “illegal” and done in “undue haste”, the opposition has alleged a Rs.100 crore scam.

Kuncolienkar said 35 percent of Goa’s population was migrants and that the best of the state’s talent left Goa due to lack of opportunities.

“The social fabric of the state is getting affected due to this and state is left helpless,” he said.

“The unique selling proportion of Goa is its non polluted environment and under any circumstances, we cannot allow a single polluting industry to come here,” he added.

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