The recent row over SEZs have little to do with real concern for the poor farmers . As they say “its all part of a game – a political game”. A quick look at the pros and cons of the SEZ dilemma that India is facing today -
a) the compulsory land grabbings means lower selling cost for lands for the farmers. These low priced land acquired for “public good” exchanges hands into government agencies , real estate developers and then to private industrial institutions and in this journey, their prices multiply several folds. Undoubtedly somebody in this process makes huge profits. Its just a matter of common sense to understand how much of the cut in profit the farmers might get .
b) With all the investment benefits , tax holidays , import duty cuts and service, sales, center and state tax benefits, think who really makes the biggest benefit ? ( And how will the government (ultimately the public ) ever make a ROI ? ) ( Don’t tell me the increased FDI will eventually work out !! )
- Why are SEZs needed ?
a) We draw the example from the land policies / government acquisitions and the policies on SEZs in China which have resulted in very rapid progress and development , thrusting China to the super power status . Even after the 234 proposed SEZs come into being , it will take up only 0.1% of the farmlands .
b) These would attract ( mind the word – attract ) an investment worth Rs.300,000 crores and generate 4 million jobs.
With other factors which still need to be thought about and discussed – ( to be covered in a later part ) –have you made up your mind yet ? What is your stand today towards the SEZ ?? Go for it or go against it ?