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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Follow-up on SEZ

So now we know that Mr. Pillai was wrong after all. In his interview referred to in an earlier posting in this page, he had mentioned how the farmers are benefiting because of the sky rocketing prices, and how they can all sell their lands, take the money home and be happy ever after, blah-blah. But, no the area the farmers will have to sell is not that much says the minister now. Says he in the Parliament:

"In the 234 SEZs, given formal approvals, the total land acquired is 33,807 hectares. This extent of land would not hamper the agriculture production as the total land under cultivation in the country is over 100 million hectares," Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question.

Of the total land, he said, needed for the SEZs, with formal approval around 17,800 hectares was already with state government agencies while the remaining land has been acquired by private developers. ...
There is enough land for everyone, blah-blah. The question is about the kinds of lands being acquired and compensation promised (read Medha Patkar on Singur)? But, Simple Ramesh is a technological-mathematical wizard, long before the GM technology was driving farmers to suicide he had predicted that this is the future of India. Writing on GM Rice as early as 2001, he wrote that GM-Rice is the Rice of the future ( India Today, 26 February 2001).

What if (as a friend suggested recently) all the farmers decide that 'we want to sell our lands for SEZ' and offer them to the Government? Why this discrimination against farmers, after all, Mr. Pillai did mention in his interview that the farmer will never get as much money as he would if he sold his land to SEZ. Let all farmers make money and whats more if we have so much lands for developing SEZs and that much of FDI flowing in, imagine the country will be prosperous in no time!?

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