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Special Economic Zones are a big controversy in the country today. The logic given is if land is offered at lower than market rate to industralists by forcefully acquiring it from their rightful owners India will make economic growth.

What are the issues involved?

1. The owner of the land is forcefully made a servant.

2. Some farmers think land as their mother and are not willing sell it for any cost.

3. Price is not paid according to the market value (Is it?).

4. One time price is paid while land is a perpetual resource of lively hood.

5. Industrialists are not treating land as an INVESTMENT but as a COMMODITY.

6. Rich and fertile land is lost.

7. Industrialists are not ready to accept farmers as partners in the project and treat them accordingly.

The very first point is of matter of pride and if any person who is not interested as servant will definitely oppose the deal whether it profitable or not. Same thing can be said about the second point.

Price paid is also not according to the market value. This creates dissatisfaction among the farmers. It is like acquiring TATA’s some plant for it 1/100th of its value! Will Ratan TATA agree if it is decided that for some national reason his plant is to be acquired and is to be given to some other person and Ratan Tata will be thrown out of his very own plant and that he will not have any right on it any time in future! What if the plat is forcefully taken? Will Ratan be a happy man?

It is actually ridiculous on part Industrialists to even think of setting a plant on the land that is acquired by unjust means! State governments stand beyond all shame and morality. The rape and murders in Nandigram are blatantly neglected. (Not even FIR is lodged. Correct me if I am wrong.)

Now there is a lot of difference in the one time price and the perpetual income. One time income can squandered by the owner while perpetual income gives guarantee of lifetime support.

Industrialist should treat the land as investment by the farmers in the venture rather than as a commodity sale. They should specify the Return on Investment that farmers would get and also the rate of ROI. The ownership still remains with farmers as a permanent investment in the venture like shares so that the land cannot be resold without the consent of the farmers and in the event of liquidation of the company the land should be restored to its rightful owners The Farmers!

India also has shortage of eating commodities like wheat, cereals etc. What the point in loosing foreign exchange and money to purchase eatables while the success of venture is never certain! Even if the venture is successful, it would be earning by one hand and losing it by the other hand.

Industrialist should make partnership deeds with farmers. In this way only the gains of progress would reach the poor. Else “poor are getting poorer while rich are getting richer” scenario continues.

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