Mayawati wants Anil Ambani’s SEZ scrapped


Lucknow : The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh Thursday decided to recommend to the central government the scrapping of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) promoted by Anil Ambani, known to be close to the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav regime, saying the plan violated the SEZ policy.

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The state cabinet decided against the project following "lapses" in allotting 1,200 acres of land at Noida to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group.

"As against a clear-cut policy to set up SEZs only on a continuous stretch of land, the previous government had allowed the proposed SEZ to be set up close to national capital New Delhi in two parts," Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters.

"The Reliance SEZ was found to have been proposed on two pieces of land with a road dividing the two plots. The need to do so was to ensure a single entry and single exit in any SEZ."

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government also decided to constitute a high-level committee, headed by the industrial development commissioner, to go into various decisions of the previous regime with respect to setting up of SEZs, hi-tech cities as well as IT projects in the state.

"The industrial development commissioner will submit the report within 15 days," the cabinet secretary said.

The government also decided to do away with the practice of acquiring land for projects to be set up in the private sector. "Investors will now be required to deal directly with the owners of such land," Singh said.

The move comes in the wake of the farmers' agitation over the Dadri power project of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance group for which the previous regime had allotted the land.

Anil Ambani is said to be a close friend of Amar Singh, general secretary of Mulayam's Samajwadi Party.