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"Strategy is to create 1 mn jobs over 10 years "

Harayan CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, outlines his plans for the state, in a conversation with Deepak Joshi.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 12:44 IST

Haryana has played a stellar role in attracting foreign direct investment in the country. The country’s biggest special economic zone is also slated to have a significant impact on the state’s economy. Though the SEZ with Reliance Industries Ltd has been deferred for a week, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda remains unfazed. He outlines his plans for the State, in a conversation with Deepak Joshi.

You have put in placed a policy for special economic zones.What will be the thrust of this initiative?

The objective of the policy is to generate employment, create investment and to facilitate dispersal of economic activities in the backward areas of the State. Multi-pronged strategy has been adopted to achieve the mission of creating employment for one million people in the next ten years by adopting simplification of rules and regulations, effective institutional mechanism and development of strong infrastructure.

Why has the signing of agreement for SEZ with RIL been deferred?

Mukesh Ambani had requested for a deferment as he had just returned from the United States. We have agreed to sign the agreement on 19th June. There were reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had summoned you on the is sue?

I had not been summoned by Sonia Gandhi on the issue. The project is on track. I was in the Capital for last three days. The memorandum of understanding on this SEZ had been signed long ago. I keep briefing the Congress president on various development projects being undertaken in the State. The Reliance SEZ will result in Rs 10,000 crore revenue generation annually, once it becomes operational.

Will similar SEZs by other corporate houses be allowed by the State?

We will welcome similar investments by other big corporates. In fact, the central government has cleared 23 SEZs in Haryana. We have taken a policy decision to allow five large SEZs in the Na tional Capital Region. The state government will acquire upto 25 per cent of the land required by an SEZ in the NCR region. This will be enhanced to 50 per cent land acquisition in other regions of the State.

There are allegations that farmers were not duly compensated?

I raised the floor rate of Rs 19 lakh to Rs. 23 lakh. The previous government had acquired land of farmers at a meager compensation of Rs 2 lakh an acre.

Then, why has there been so much criticism of the project?

The persons who are not interested in the development of the state are opposed to the project. They are not able to digest the prosperity of the state The SEZ will provide five lakh jobs. Though investment is coming to the State, labour also is getting restive.

How do you plan to allay fears of investors and the labour?

We have a clear industrial and labour policy. There is no major unrest. Minor incidents do occur sometimes. The Honda Motorcycles and Scooters issue is being examined by a Commission of Inquiry. There were several forces behind the turmoil then.