October 12, 2007

SEZ Update

43 days after I made a few suggestions (about people displaced by SEZ land sharing the profits with the developer) to resolve the SEZ controversy in India, it looks like someone is listening. The National Policy on Rehabilitation and Resettlement of 2007, provides for structured solutions to help those displaced by SEZs. Relevant portions of text are reproduced here (Source: rediff)

"The new policy seeks to make those entitled for compensation stakeholders in development by allowing them to take up to 20 per cent of the amount in the form of shares if the acquiring entity is authorised to issue these instruments."

"The policy discourages speculative transactions of land acquired for public purposes. As a relief for developers, 30 per cent land can be compulsorily acquired by states for the promoters while the rest has to be bought by them."

"Reliance Industries which is in process of acquiring land for its mega SEZs welcomed the policy. "The policy will boost the industrial development as it clearly defines the land acquisition rules," a Reliance spokesman said."

Which means that the inhabitants of land notified as SEZ land will be able to share in the upside, if any, from the land. That should make them feel much better, and less jealous (refer to the italiced note at the end of this post) of capitalistic developers.

My only concern being will these inhabitants understand the complex finance behind it all? How is this process made to look fair to all parties? How will the rabble-rousers in political circles, who thrive on conflict, look at their golden goose being neutralised, react? Watch this space ... pour in your thoughts if any.

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