8 April 2007

Land Acquisition

India lifted a freeze on land clearance for scores of economic zones imposed after protests and promised there would be no forcible land acquisition for projects and also that a limit on the size of special economic zones would also be imposed. The size limitation will apply to all special economic zones (SEZs) including those which have already been notified.

Central Government yesterday said special economic zones that have evoked violent protests in several parts of India, particularly from farmers, are here to stay but limited their size to a maximum of 5,000 hectares (one hectare 2.47 acres).

Ministers who recently met to clear pending SEZ proposals, have stated that SEZs will in future be treated like public utilities. Which means that States need not intervene to acquire land and leave the decision to sell agricultural land for SEZ to the discretion of the farmers and owners of the land.

Central Government has so far received a total of 234 SEZ proposals with formal approvals, of which 63 have been notified and 83 were cleared yesterday for notification.

The above will undoubtedly be cheering news
to Lotus Footwear Enterprises who are currently trying to set up a 275-acre footwear SEZ in Tiruvannamalai District.

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