Assocham president Venugopal Dhoot on Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately convene a meeting of the industry and states to review the situation arising out of the government's move to put SEZ clearances on hold.
"This is an alarming situation. We think the prime minister should call for a meeting of industry chambers, state governments, just as it did on the reservation policy, to find clarity on the issue," the industry chamber's newly elected president told reporters in New Delhi.
Such a meeting was of importance so as to prevent anybody from taking political advantage, he said alluding to the uproar in Nandigram and Singur over acquisition of land for industrial purposes. Since these developments, many of the state governments have been exercising caution on forwarding proposals to the Centre.
Dhoot said the chamber was in favour of SEZs, which could play an important role in the country's growth.
"However, we are against exploitation of any form in the name of SEZs and we would ensure that the industry does not indulge in such practice," he added.
The chamber's demand comes close on the heels of the government deciding to put on hold, fresh approvals for Special Economic Zones pending a review by the Group of Ministers on SEZs and formulation of a new Rehabilitation Policy for farmers, mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently.
The meeting of Board of Approvals in commerce ministry, which was to take up more than 70 new cases on January 19, has been postponed.