Congress asks Achuthanandan to clear air on SEZ clearance

August 24th, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24 (IANS) Kerala’s main opposition Congress Sunday asked Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan to clarify the official stance on applications for setting up special economic zones (SEZs) in the state.In a statement after a party meeting, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said there was utter confusion in the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the state’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government led by it over 21 SEZ applications.

“These applications have been cleared by the state industries ministry, but Achuthanandan says these need to be discussed with the party leadership and also in the LDF. If that was the case, why did he initially agree to clear these applications,” asked Chennithala.

The applications cleared include those from companies like Emil and Erick Infrastructure Developers, Parsvnath Builders, Unitech Real Estate Project and Oceanus Infrastructure.

“Achuthanandan is playing to the gallery by opposing these applications just to come clean in his party, where he is losing support because the majority faction is hounding him,” said Chennithala.

Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem belongs to the majority faction headed by state party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, Achuthanandan’s rival in the party.

After the weekly cabinet meeting Thursday, the chief minister had said there would be no hurry to give nod to the SEZ applications.

A three-day CPI-M meeting earlier had demanded the government should see that fresh investment is the need of the hour to speed up the development process in the state.

“We are clear on the SEZ front and now it is the CPI-M who has to come clean on this. We are quite surprised to hear the Communist Party of India (part of the LDF) here opposing SEZs. In West Bengal, we did not hear them raising any objection to this,” pointed out Chennithala.

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