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Shilpa Kolte and Rajesh clear this GD.


www.UrPercentile.com: The topic of GD is “: India's policy of SEZs - A move from Agriculture to Industry”.

Abhishek: India is opening /allotting more and more agriculture land for SEZs. In my view it is a very good move for the economy of India. The rural areas  where there is dearth of facilities like power, water, materials etc will  grow up with urban India. This is also very helpful for Industrial growth of the Indian Economy. More an more Industrialist and MNCs are hunting for SEZs where they get subsidies and thus would help their business. This is very important for Foreign inflows via the MNCs which  along with increasing infrastructure will provide employment for people of rural India and provide many such opportunities to them.

Manish: India has been an agricultural country for ages. This is a shift in policy of India, we must go slowly about it. Industrialization will certainly help we must try to maintain a balance. If we are taking lands of farmers we must make sure that they also reap the benefit of industrialization.

Shilpa Kolte: SEZ provide an opportunity to concentrate industry in a particular location, which helps in development of the region. Today, a vast chunk of the GDP comes from the service sector and it is likely to go up in near future.

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Abhishek: But government should not forget that only a part of the agricultural land must be allocated to SEZs. Because it is the most essential part of ones economy. 
It is not only because it contributes to the GDP but because it provides the country with most essential thing of life that is : FOOD and CLOTH. We can import the food grains/agricultural products from other country but seeing the large population of our country I think it is impossible for our country to be depended on any other country for it. So if government goes in a planned way and develop both SEZs and agriculture in proper manner I think India will see a great Economic upturn.

Rajesh: Well. In our country 12.4 % of population is dependent on agriculture. It’s a huge population. So we need to divert some of the people dependent on agriculture towards other sectors. SEZ is a good move towards a new start. But the way it's implemented is a matter of concern. For example, the Tata Project, in Singur & chemical SEZ in Nandigram.

Manish: Yes correct India need to improve in infrastructure and many will have to sacrifice for it. For anything you want you have to sacrifice. We got independence when many sacrificed their lives etc. But with so many opportunities one really does not have to sacrifice at current time, they just need to compromise a bit.

Antony Thomas: The SEZ policy introduced by the Indian government is a welcome one. It would provide better job opportunities and also give India a chance to enter the paths of development processes of the developed countries. Economic development is a transition phase from primary through secondary to tertiary.

Shilpa Kolte: Yes, implementation is surely a matter of concern as industrial development should not be at the cost of agricultural development

Rajesh: Our country has only 3% of world land area, but 16% of world population. So we need to manage our land properly. By using Satellite Imagery we have to allocate lands for Agri, Indus and Resid. And no fertile lands should be converted to Indus as in case of Singur
Antony Thomas: Even though a huge chunk of the population in India is employed in the primary sector, its contribution to enhance personal income is very unimpressive

Rajesh: On one hand we are spending huge money in irrigating lands, and on the other hand we are diverting already irrigated lands to ind land. So there is a serious flaw in selection of lands for SEZ & ind purpose

Shilpa Kolte: There are many SEZ coming up, with many sanctioned and few put on hold as the Government is treading cautiously on the policy. It is important that the Government strikes a balance in promoting both industry and agriculture.  But the shift from agriculture to industry is clear and well timed, with the economy booming and the policy makers trying their best to take advantage of the emerging brand India

Antony Thomas: But what is wrong in starting industries where land is fertile but it is of no use to the owners or to the government. The ones who did sell the land to the TATAs in Singur must have done so because they thought that was more profitable in the long run.

Manish: Politicians are just making fuss of it for their vote bank. Political parties should think about the country as a whole and decide what will benefit the country most. There should not be vote bank politics on such issues which are going to decide future of country

Rajesh: Shilpa, you are somewhat wrong in saying Government. is maintaining balance. On one hand Government. is giving thumbs up to new SEZ & Industries, and the other hand death cases of farmers in AP, Maharashtra, Orissa

Shilpa Kolte: Fertile land, in all cases should be used for cultivation. Indian population is booming, just like our economy and we should ensure that we do not lose our 'self-stuffiness' in food status. There are many areas which are barren; it's just a case of proper management of available land

Rajesh: Antony, once a land cant is made fertile. If we have fertile land then it should be conserved & properly used. But on the other hand it’s very easy to destroy the fertile land.

Shilpa Kolte: I said they should try to maintain balance. The farmers suicide in AP, Maharshtra is not related to SEZ, bit more on adequate price to the produce. Let's not mix the two issues

Antony Thomas: India is very sufficient in food production. In fact the statistics of how much food is destroyed by rodents and other poor storage facilities is alarming. Why not reduce food production a little and allot more space and manpower to other industrial goods and services?

Rajesh: And along with population growth, we need to increase our agri production to meet our country's food req. the farmer suicides are not only due to price, but because of lack of amenities, draught, lack of irrigation water

Shilpa Kolte: One thing Antony, natural resources are precious. Once the quality of land has deteriorated, it will take many years to regain the quality. I agree with Rajesh
Rajesh: Antony. I am sorry to inform that India is not self sufficient in Agri. This year imported even wheat.

Manish: Just because we imported wheat does not mean we are not self sufficient, we paid for that wheat. And at the same time we exported other agricultural products.

Shilpa Kolte: Precisely, but they are not related to SEZ land acquisition. Proper earmarking of land for SEZ can also lead to balancing development. We already have an imbalance with segregation on industrial activities in areas like Mumbai, Bangalore etc creating a burden on infrastructure in these areas, along with concentration of population in some belts. A good SEZ policy, along with impetus to industry can also help in uniform development of all regions.

Rajesh: Now friends, we have agreed that SEZs are quite essential to sustain the economic growth of 8+% and in the due course achieve the goal of super power. So let us now decide how to harp this opportunity and implement the SEZ in a better way

Manish: The capacity to pay for that wheat cam from other sources where we performed better, you need produce everything to be self sufficient. Even major countries import goods

Rajesh: Manish. Now let us get back to our topic of SEZs

Shilpa Kolte: Imports are inevitable. No one can produce everything. The only concern should be net exports should be more than net imports value wise. SEZ will help increase goods and services exports as these exports get many benefits like taxes from the government. We can consider the impact of existing SEZs on the country and the effect on agriculture in nearby zones.

Rajesh: Shipa. Exactly, Land acquisition is one of the most important aspects of SEZs. And it is a critical issue. A single mistake can lead to issue like Singur

Antony Thomas: India needs to increase its GDP if it needs to uplift the condition of its citizens as it plays a huge role in determining per capita income. By the setting up of new industries, it can increase the production and hence GDP and consequently, put India to a self sustained path to development.

Shilpa Kolte: Singur like case should not happen. I agree. But it is also true that the problem was not solved by the media attention and agitation by leaders and NGOs. What could have been done was that the government should have consulted the farmers in the zone before letting the company set up a car project there.

Antony Thomas: Rajesh. Singur was so blown up by the trinammol congress and their trying to come back into power. Infact Singur was an issue that should have gone on smoothly if it weren’t for some political parties trying to take advantage.

Shilpa Kolte: We cannot forget that the Jamnagar SEZ has given us a facility to refine sour crude and it will now house the worlds largest refinery

Rajesh: Shilpa, Absolutely, what was happened was the monopoly decision by the Government without consulting the farmers. So we need to make our land acquisition process more transparent and people friendly

www.UrPercentile.com: Request everyone to give a Concluding Statement.

Antony Thomas: Therefore to conclude I would say that SEZ in indispensable phenomenon in India. Rather than trying to reject and repel it, we have to wise up and use this phenomenon to our advantage, the advantage of the nation as a whole.

Rajesh: Well. As seen in China, SEZs have played a vital role in their economic resurgence. So we need to concentrate more on this sector and further take steps not to make the same mistakes done my China. And along with progress towards industrialization, we need to maintain the balance between Agri & Inds.

Shilpa Kolte: I conclude by saying that the Government with the new SEZ policy has shown that the focus is on Industry and services. But also the restraint orders and giving the go ahead to only 70 SEZ instead of the 630 under consideration shows the Government's concern to ensure the development of all sectors, or at least that no sector is dealt with unjustly.

Manish: If India has to move forward more industrial avenues have to be opened, and proper care should be taken of those people who effected by this.

Comments by UrPercentile Subscribers :

Chandana Sunder : India's move into SEZs is to strengthen itself in manufacturing (that's where China has done very well). As the service industry alone cannot be a job provider to the huge population of India, SEZs can be seen as a source of employment. Among the success stories for the SEZs include the IT Parks both at Bangalore and Chennai.

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