Maya first strike at Mulayam: Centre told

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Maya first strike at Mulayam: Centre told

Post by ar » May 27, 2007 Views: 1582

Maya first strike at Mulayam: Centre told Anil Ambani SEZ against rules


In one of its first acts after taking charge in Lucknow, the Mayawati government has applied the brakes on a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project in Noida being promoted by the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).

UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters that the state government today conveyed to the Centre that guidelines were not followed in proposing allotment of land to ADAG for a multi-product SEZ in Noida. The site identified for the project, he said, is not contiguous which is a basic requirement for allotment.

The SEZ was proposed to be developed on 1,200 acres.

Singh said that a three-member committee headed by the Principal Secretary (Finance) found that the land proposed to be allotted was not contiguous. “There exists a road in the middle of the land, he said.

The Mayawati cabinet, which held its second meeting today, also set up a high-level committee under the Industrial Development Commissioner to re-evaluate every proposal of the previous Mulayam government on SEZs and High-Tech City projects.

Singh said that land deals for SEZs would henceforth take place directly between the investor and the farmer to avoid a Singur-like situation.

Unfazed by the decision, the ADAG said it was confident of resolving any issue through talks, reports PTI.

“We look forward to discussing the matter with the Uttar Pradesh government and resolve any issue,â€ÂÂ￾ an ADAG spokesperson said. “We have won the Noida SEZ on a transparent and competitive basis. This is one of the most important projects for the development of the state,â€ÂÂ￾ he said.

The Mayawati government’s decision is the first instance of a state government trying to revoke in-principle approval granted to an SEZ project.

While there are three notified SEZs in UP, eight projects have formal approvals and 10, including the ADAG SEZ, have in-principle approval.

When contacted, Commerce Ministry officials said they were yet to receive an official communique from the UP government on the SEZ matter. But officials said the state government was within its right to review clearances for SEZs with in-principle approvals.

If the Mayawati government decides to revisit the three notified SEZs and eight projects which have formal approval on the basis of the Industrial Development Commissioner’s report expected in two weeks, there may be trouble.

Under the SEZ Act, a project only gets formal approval after all land has been acquired and all other formalities fulfilled at the state and Centre level.

“Once the project has formal approval, even if the state government wants to revoke clearances granted earlier, it cannot. The only way out would be litigation,â€ÂÂ￾ an official said. The ten SEZs with in-principle approvals include 3 IT SEZs and a 3287-hectare multi-product Purva SEZ at Bhadoi.

Seven of the eight projects with formal approvals awaiting final notification from the Centre are IT SEZs proposed by the likes of Wipro, HCL and NIIT in Noida and Greater Noida. A non-conventional energy SEZ proposed by Moser Baer has also got formal approval.

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