Monday, 3 January 2011

Does India need SEZs and in what shape?

India needs to decide the aim first. Chinese aim had been and even now is 'rapid economic growth'. There had been no moral issues involved while achieving the aim. Chinese are capable of giving a warm embrace while stabbing in the back.
China can and shall nationalise entire foreign investment once they gain first position in economy and military capabilities. On the other hand India had and has no obstacles in attracting foreign investment. Indian philosophy does not permit stabbing in the back. Moral gets high precedence over many things in India. Therefore, photo-copy of Chinese concept of SEZs is not suitable for India.
I have certain ideas based on 'Indian thinking of prosperity for all'. India should not encourage migration of population. This has been proved disastrous in past. Be it Delhi or Mumbai or Kolkata or Chennai or Bangalore or any other city, migration has resulted in inadequate services and bad health of people and cities. These cities look like 'they are dying'. Enormous investment is needed to save these cities. Much lesser funds could make rural area habitable for people. The need is 'shift industry where people are available' and not shift people where work is available'. With today's achievements in communication it is possible to do the same. Think why foreign capital is flowing to India or China? The basic reason is availability of man power. During first phases of industrialisation western countries shipped raw material from wherever available and sold finished products wherever needed. They have changed now. They are shifting their industrial units where man power is available. At least we can follow this latest trend and shift our industry all over the rural area. India should not aim at prosperous pockets but prosperity for all.
Present thinking in India is based on selfishness of both who support and oppose SEZs. Supporters find big instantaneous gains in property and profits. They forget 'Taj Mahal cannot be built in slums'. Those who oppose are worried about the price offered for land. They have no concept of economic prosperity for the nation. A group of politicians accept this concept simply because it originated in China. They have no thinking whether it is good for India and how? Another group is simply interested in funds which may be available to them and their party. Thus no efforts have been made to modify this concept for Indian conditions and prosperity of Indian population as a whole.
In my opinion India needs development of villages. My way of thinking suggests the following.
1.      High class highways, rail communication, electricity feeders, water lines, electronic communication connecting rural area.
2.      Earmarking width of say 3 km of land on both sides of the highway for establishing industry, educational institutes, research and business centres.
3.      Redistributing land in the rest of the area so those who have to surrender their land for industry etc. are rehabilitated in the same area and in the same sequence when related to the road/rail.
4.      Compensation for the land should not be paid in cash but in terms of 'share' (i.e. stock)
5.      Every person in the area (considering village as unit) must be given intensive training so that the person gets suitable employment in the industry.
6.      Industries must include such units which can accept farm products as raw material.

This list can be developed further to include every thing which ensures even distribution of economical development.

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