Industrial Policy Stalled

The Central Government had made policies for developing the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to boost industrialisation in every State of the country. But each time, due to changes in policies and lack of sufficient support from industrialists, the Government’s policies for SEZs have failed. Due to this, much of the land earmarked for SEZs remained unutilised. Now the Government is trying yet again to revive the SEZs. A new proposal was included in the Industrial Policy that out of the total earmarked land, 30 per cent would be used for industrial purposes and the remaining 70 per cent would be for developing private townships. The Government believes that they will succeed in reviving the SEZs through this new Industrial Proposal.
It is worth mentioning that through the Central Government, the State Government received proposals to develop 146 SEZs, out of which 22 SEZ proposals were withdrawn. Among the remaining 124 SEZ proposals, 64 were being notified, 40 proposals were provided formal recognition by the Government and 20 projects were recognised on the basis of facts. But among these, the numbers of projects which are connected with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) are very few. Among the 20 projects, 4 projects were abandoned within one month. For the remaining 16 projects, land acquisition and other problems have already given indications of rejection. Therefore, the huge opportunities of employment also come to a standstill.

It is being said the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan fears that if the new Industrial Policy related to SEZs comes into effect,  the builder lobby would again start  earning illegal money by acquiring a maximum amount of land. He doesn’t want to risk any kind of dispute with the builders as a result of which questions could be raised and sully his spotless personality. This is the reason the new Industrial Policy has been put on hold in the Chief Minister’s Office. However, officials of the Industries Department still believe that the new Industrial Policy would be accepted.

The administration is now stating that due to such hindrances cropping up, industrialists are losing interest in the SEZs. That is why it has become necessary to change the pattern of the SEZs. By framing new rules, a new Industrial Policy is being made. So far, SEZ lands are being allotted only for establishing industries and because of this no responses were forthcoming. According to the new policy for SEZs, in 30 per cent land of SEZs industries should be constructed and in the remaining 70 per cent private township(s) should be constructed. It is believed that this new rule will act as a ‘Sanjeevani’ for the SEZs. That is why it was planned that this new proposal should be included in the new Industrial Policy. But before this could happen, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan ordered to a halt due to the fear of creating problems with or between builders.
It is being said the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan fears that if the new Industrial Policy related to SEZs comes into effect, the builder lobby would again start earning illegal money by acquiring a maximum amount of land. He doesn’t want to risk any kind of dispute with the builders as a result of which questions could be raised and sully his spotless personality. This is the reason the new Industrial Policy has been put on hold in the Chief Minister’s Office. However, officials of the Industries Department still believe that the new Industrial Policy would be accepted.
Industrialists are of the view that until the Government brings stability in its policies, until then there is very little possibility that its policies will be successful. Previous experience suggests that whatever proposals the Government has made for application in the SEZs were changed one after another as a result of which they were unsuccessful. That is why whenever the Government makes any new proposal, it should be implemented for at least five years. Only then will industrialists gain faith on the Government. Otherwise, no matter how many efforts are made, the chances of success will always be remote. The present secanrio doesn’t seem to augur well for the future as there are differences in the Government itself on the Industrial Policy for SEZs.

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