Friday, October 13, 2006

SEZ's- A boon or a curse

The recent controversy surrounding the governments policy towards SEZ's and the subsequent protests by farmers has once again highlighted the huge gap between devoloping India and the large majority of places still grappling with poverty,unemployment and other social issues.The government needs to put a lid on the number of SEZ's that will come up on farm lands and also compensate the farmers for the loss of land.However it isn't as simple as it sounds.Firstly the government has to stop hobnobbing with the builder lobby and start doing things the legal way.The sale of government owned mill-lands in Bombay to builders for building shopping malls,multiplexes and the likes is an example of blatant exploitation(of mill wokers' rights)and money laundering between the builder lobby and politicians.Why is development always equated with the number of shopping malls,multiplexes and other such business ventures.Hasn't the goverment ever heard of the concept of a "state of the art city",something on the lines of the amby valley built by sahara.How much revenue will the goverment(not the politicians) get by allowing 5-10 separate shopping malls mushroom in and around the same locality.Think about the revenue a city with all such amenities can generate.Not to forget the huge skyscrapers(without any goverment ceiling on FSI) which will save a huge amount of space.The FSI issue is one of the most crucial issues which can turn into a monster if the government doesn't deal with it very soon.Why can't our state governments follow the norms being followed all over the world.Cities like Bombay,Bangalore and Delhi are already cramped up due to lack of space.On top of that there are restrictions over the number of stories a new structure can have.It is absurd,to say the least!A very simple solution to most of the problems being faced by the farmers as well as the industry is removal or rather raising the FSI cap to the general norms followed all over the world.
As for the SEZ's,the industry has to ask itself how much it returns to the society in return for the concessions doled out to them.Agreed,that the IT sector has really driven the economy over the last 5-6 years,still it needs to give back something to the society.Why not adopt government owned schools and colleges in the remote villages all over India?This will also be beneficial to the industry after a period of say 10-15 years.It will produce a generation of english speaking educated youth.As for the farmers,they have to understand that the days of freebies are over.Free electricity,tax concessions,free land are days of yore.The government also needs to put a check on deforestation.Developing India needs to bridge this ever growing divide between the rich and the poor.We need to balance industrial growth with social equality.Only then will vison 2020 be a successful venture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent job pranav

6:22 AM  

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