The state Assembly on Wednesday approved the amendment to the state industry law, which allows exiting special economic zones (SEZs) to use 40% of their total land for residential and commercial use.
In a four-hour debate, the Opposition demanded 12% of the developed land for farmers and suggested that they be allowed to share profits with the SEZs for which they gave up their lands.
Some also pressed for locking the value of the land, to ensure that promoters don’t make undue profits.
The Opposition members want the amendment to be reviewed by the joint select committee.
The proponent of the policy and industries minister Narayan Rane told the Assembly that the amendment would apply only to 9,500 hectares of privately-held SEZ land.
“The government’s industrial estates do not come under this law. This is just a part of the new industrial policy,” he said.
The state government had tabled the amendment to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act, 1961, last April but it did not come up for discussion in the budget session.
It was tabled again in the monsoon session.
The bill also needs the approval of the legislative Council
Of the 146 notified SEZs — tax-free enclaves focused on exports — in Maharashtra, only 17 are operational, while 22 have been de-notified or withdrawn because of changes in the Centre’s tax policy. Around 31,000 hectares have been acquired mostly through private deals, for the 22 SEZs.
They were to attract an investment of Rs1.60 lakh crore and create 6 lakh jobs
The policy allows the promoters to apply to the Centre for getting the SEZs de-notified and adopt the state’s model to develop 60% of the land for industries