Himachal rethinking on SEZs; CM personally too not interested



Shimla: Keeping in mind the agrarian set up of the state, the Himachal Pradesh government might do away with the idea of having Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state. While talking to media persons at the Shimla Press Club, here today, state Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh said that the presently sanctioned SEZs in Una, Kangra and Waknaghat in Solan district are being re-examined.

The three SEZs were sanctioned by the union government in principle, some time ago and the work of preparing a Detailed Project Reports of these sites is under way. The move could be a result of public outcry against land acquisitions, and keeping in mind the state assembly elections, which are due in February next year, Singh wouldn’t want to ruffle feathers of the voters.

“We are reconsidering the idea of having SEZs in the state and the currently sanctioned ones are also being re-examined according to the needs and benefits of the farmers, Singh said.

While replying to a question on the issue, Singh expressed that personally too he was not in favour of the SEZs, as “Himachal was primarily an agrarian state and anything that harms the general interest of the farmers cannot do any good to the state.”

Singh informed that even if some SEZs were to come up, the farmers would have full rights to sell the land directly to the company and strike a best deal. “The government would not interfere in acquisition of the land and the companies would directly have to approach the farmer,” Singh said categorically.

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