The JD(U) on Wednesday expressed sharp differences with its NDA ally BJP on the SEZ issue saying there was no need at all for such zones in India and the policy must be discarded completely as it was detrimental to the country's interests.
"The Indian economy has been open ever since 1991. So what's the need for SEZs? We are quite clear that the SEZ policy is wrong and it must be scrapped in totality," JD (U) president Sharad Yadav stated shortly after BJP leader M.Venkaiah Naidu released the recommendations of a committee set up by the party to decide its stand on the issue.
Naidu said the BJP in principle favoured the policy as the SEZs were "a necessary instrument to make India a strong and globally competitive exporter in manufacturing and services" and the party was proud of the fact that the policy was introduced during NDA rule.
Differing with the view, Yadav said the SEZs would have a damaging effect on agriculture in the country while also causing revenue loss and black-marketing of goods produced for export purposes.
Hence, the SEZ policy had been totally rejected in Bihar where the JD (U) headed a coalition government with BJP as its partner, he pointed out.
Describing the SEZ as the "biggest land scam in post-independence India",
party spokesman Shambhu Shrivastav stated it did not serve any particular purpose except that land was handed over to big industrialists at very cheap rates.