Goa chief minister to meet Kamal Nath on SEZ issue

January 5th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Jan 5 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat will meet union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath next week in Delhi to reiterate his government’s opposition to the special economic zone (SEZ) projects allotted for the state, a Congress MP said Monday.”The chief minister will lead a delegation of Congress MLAs and MPs to Delhi next week in this regard,” Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik told reporters.

He said Kamat would urge Kamal Nath to expedite the process of de-notifying SEZs in Goa because of popular opposition.

“In a recent meeting the chief minister had with the SEZ promoters in Goa, we have clearly told them that SEZs cannot be established against the will of the people,” Naik told IANS. “There is no question of the government steering away from this position,” the MP added.

The state government had already written to the commerce minister, seeking withdrawal of the SEZ notifications for the projects in the state, but there has been no response from the central government yet.

The setting up of several SEZs in the state had created a furore, with the opposition and various civil society groups taking to the streets alleging that the projects were only a buzzword for land-grabbing.

Following public pressure, the state government scrapped 12 out of the 15 SEZ projects last year. The promoters of the remaining three notified SEZs, namely Meditab Specialities (123.2 hectares), Peninsula Pharma Research Centre (20.36 hectares) and K Raheja Corp (106 hectares) have approached the Bombay High Court for relief.

The case is expected to be heard shortly.

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