Panaji, April 18, 2013 (IANS)
Former union commerce minister Kamal Nath had overruled his ministry's
secretary and favoured denotification of three special economic zones (SEZ)
in Goa in 2008, suggest recently unclassified diplomatic cables available
The cable from the US embassy dated Jan 4, 2008, titled "Centre appears to
waffle on Goa SEZ ban", also says that the decision to denotify the SEZs in
Goa could have hit the central government's plans for "foreign
participation in SEZs".
After a public outcry and several protests through 2006-08, the Congress
government in Goa at the time had decided to scrap seven land-intensive
SEZs and withdraw the state SEZ policy. Three of the seven SEZs were
already notified by the trade and commerce ministry and its secretary at
the time G.K. Pillai had ruled out their denotification because there was
"no such provision in law".
"However, (Goa chief minister Digambar) Kamat met with Commerce Minister
Nath the following day, whose public statements walked back from Pillai's.
Nath stated that the central government can de-notify SEZs and that it
would not wish to force a SEZ on a state that did not want them. Nath said
he would wait for the official request from the Goan government and take
'appropriate action'," the cable (number NEW DELHI 00000026 001.2 OF 002)
The cable is part of a weekly compilation of "economic highlights"
dispatched back home by the US embassy in New Delhi.
After the withdrawal of the SEZ policy, promoters who were allotted land
for developing the Zones, have since approached the courts claiming the
government's move to cancel the policy was illegal. A judicial decision is
Kamal Nath's decision at the time, the cable says, could have resulted in a
blow to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's aim of getting
in foreign investments in SEZ projects.
"The Commerce Ministry's big plans for foreign participation in SEZs could
take a hit if the GOI (Government of India) capitulates to the Goa
government and approves de-notification after investors have already sunk
significant money, not to mention time, into their projects," the cable
content/326772/kamal-nath- overruled-official-denotify. html
Friday, April 19, 2013
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Special Economic Zone issue: Chief minister says he wants to clean up Goa Industrial development Corporation
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
PANJIM, DEC 22
Goa Government is at the receiving end in the land allotment scam for allotting land to SEZ promoters with legal experts demanding ‘jail’ to those responsible for encouraging criminal activity.
“Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) officials and all those involved in granting land to SEZ promoters should be jailed. Such criminal activity should not be tolerated,” Supreme Court senior counsel Collin Gonsalves today said.
Gonsalves represented SEZ Virodhi Manch (SVM) in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by them against the State and SEZ promoters at Goa Bench of Bombay High Court.
The High Court in its order last month had observed that the allotment of lands to the companies was made in undue haste and arbitrarily without proper scrutiny of their applications.
Besides, the procedure adopted for the allotment was not fair and transparent and the allotments by the GIDC do not stand the test of reasonableness. GIDC and the seven petitioners are given status quo of four months.
“It is a terrible case of fraud…this is a clear case of corruption, criminal fraud, misappropriation and cheating,” he said adding that the land should be reverted back to the people of Goa.
The activists including Council for Social Justice and Peace convener Fr Mavrick, Pravin Sabnis and others also demanded resignation of all those officials who fraudulently allotted lands to the industrial enclaves.
They reiterated their demand that either CBI inquiry or judicial probe should be constituted in the scam, which involves high profile politicians and bureaucrats into it.
SVM in its memorandum to the GSIDC on Tuesday demanded resignation of the Chairman Chandrakant Kavlekar, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira, former Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Nitin Kunkolienkar and others for being ‘partner in the crime.’
Their demand also includes departmental inquiry followed by stringent action against the responsible persons. The members have threatened to launch intense agitation in the coming New Year 2011 if the Government does not pay heed to their demands.
The opposition meanwhile has already called for a criminal investigation of two former Congress chief ministers – Pratapsing Rane and Luizinho Faleiro for favouring SEZ promoters.
The State was forced to de-notify the allotment of 32 lakh sq mtrs of land to SEZ promoters following stiff opposition from the Goans. The SEZ promoters then approached the High Court challenging the government’s de-notification, which is set aside in a recent order.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
MARGAO, DEC 21
Members of the SEZ Virodhi Manch gheraoed the GIDC Chairman, Babu Kavlekar on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum with six demand, including the demand for the resignation of all members instrumental in the allotment of lands for SEZ’s and accountability.
Convenor of the Manch, Charles Fernandes said the GIDC Chairman was left dumbfounded and repeatedly stated that the matter is under study and that he has sought a legal opinion on the matter.
SVM members were interested to know from Kavlekar whether the matter under study were actually the figures of kickbacks that would come to the Board of Directors in the fresh allotment of lands as the lands have been reverted back to the GIDC by the Court. The SVM members informed Kavlekar that people of Goa and SVM would not rest until the fraud in allotment of lands for SEZ’s is investigated and the persons involved in the fraud bought to justice by law.
While reiterating its demand for the resignation of Kavlekar and Power Minister Alexio Sequeira, the SVM warned that failure to accept the demands will provoke an intense agitation in the New Year.
The members demanded a thorough departmental inquiry followed by stringent action against the GIDC Chairman and the others mentioned above, so that the GIDC can cleanse its tainted image in the eyes of the Goan citizens.
While reiterating its demand for reverting the lands allotted for SEZs to the original owners or in the alternative handed over to the government for community projects in accordance with the wishes of the respective villagers, the SVM demanded that the GIDC immediately notify regulations under section 51 of the GIDC to specify mode or method of disposal of GIDC lands as the same do not exist till date.
Fernandes said that the GIDC should request the state government to hand over the jurisdiction of the Industrial Estates to the village Panchayats as the loss of jurisdiction has caused undue losses and violations with villagers facing the brunt due to illegalities in the form of illegal bore wells, illegal constructions, violation of construction regulations etc with local Panchayats having no control over their own lands, adding that the governance of industrial estates need to be vested to the local bodies.
SVM members gherao GIDC chairman
(Times of India) TNN, Dec 22, 2010, 05.13am IST
PANAJI: Members of the SEZ Virodhi Manch (SVM) gheraoed the chairman of Goa Industrial Development Corporation ( GIDC), Chandrakant Kavlekar, Tuesday evening in his office and demanded the resignations of all the directors who were involved in the allotment of land which was held illegal by the court recently.
The activists challenged Kavlekar to spell out why no action had been taken following the high court order. His reaction was that legal opinion has been sought.
The activists demanded that the land given to SEZ promoters should be reverted to the original owners, or handed over to the government for community projects as per wishes of the villages in which the projects were planned.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
SVM slams Babu Kavlekar's statement on land allotment for SEZs Read more: SVM slams Babu Kavlekar's statement on land allotment for SEZs
The SVM pointed out that the high court of Bombay at Goa has rejected all the above frivolous submissions in its judgment while quashing the allotments made for SEZs.
"The chairman fails to explain how and why the GIDC allotted the lands for SEZ when no SEZ policy existed in the state at that time," the press note states. The SVM has also demanded an immediate judicial or CBI inquiry into the allotment of land for SEZs.