People’s Audit of Special Economic Zones in India
Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
April 19-20th, New Delhi
We are pleased to invite you to the People’s Audit of SEZs in India on April 19th and 20th, 2010 in New Delhi. This is the final National Level Audit of SEZs, following a series of people’s audits conducted in several states across the country.
The first people’s audit on SEZs was conducted in Maharashtra on September 15th, 2009. This was followed by similar audits in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh over the past few months. This final audit is an attempt to consolidate the results of the state level audit processes. We would be grateful if you would join us for this process.
After the Special Economic Zones Act was passed in the Parliament in June 2005, over 1046 proposals for setting up SEZs have been granted approvals in various parts of the country. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have the largest number of approved SEZs in the country. Large number of SEZs have been granted approval in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal as well. Nearly Five years since the enforcement of the Act, it is highly imperative that the country revisit the policy and evaluate it. It is with this aim in mind, that mass-based organizations along with academics and advocacy institutions came together to conduct people’s audits of SEZs in various states.
In the audit process, people affected by the SEZ Projects and related land acquisition, submitted their testimonies and depositions to an eminent panel of social scientists, economists, retired bureaucrats, journalists and independent researchers who critically examined issues emerging from SEZs. The issues ranged from land acquisition, displacement, environmental impact, compensation to employment generation, livelihood loss and labour rights as well as those related to the development paradigm and economic growth.
In an effort towards consolidating these state level processes, the national level audit will also include a panel of eminent people to critically evaluate these issues and their implications to national policy. We request you to join this national panel to listen to the testimonies of affected people, research and expert opinions on SEZs and other attendant issues and make your observations. The programme will be conducted over a two-day period, culminating in a press conference and a public meeting.
The tentative programme schedule is as follows
1. Inauguration of the People’s Audit of SEZs
2. Statewise presentation of testimonies including overview, presentation of the state audit report, few selected testimonies, expert presentations, objective research presentations
3. Presentation of panelist observations
4. Press conference and Release of Interim Report by the Panelists with conclusions and recommendations.
5. A public meeting
Your participation and engagement in this People’s Audit would prove extremely valuable in critically examining the unfolding political economy of SEZs and in articulating the development needs of the people. We hope that you will join us in this process.
The Audit was jointly initiated by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI); Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS); and National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) as the core group of organizations and jointly organized with state – level groups including Jagtikikaran Virodhi Kriti Samiti (JVKS), Maharashtra; Andhra Pradesh Dalita Samakhya (APDS); Anti-KSEZ Farmers’ Committee, Kadali Network, Praja Udhyama Aikya Vedika, Dalita Bahujana Bhoo Parirakshana Samiti, Coastal Corridor Praja Hakkula Parirakshana Samiti in Kakinada; Krushibhoomi Samrakshana Samiti (KBSS), Karnataka; Karaavali Karnataka Janaabhivrudhi Vedike (KKJV), Karnataka; Sirappu Porulaadhara Mandalam Edirippu Iyaikam (SPMEI), Tamil Nadu; SEZ Virodhi Manch, Goa; POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, Orissa; SEZ Virdodhi Manch, West Bengal; Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS), Gujarat; India Centre for Human Rights and Law (ICHRLN); and the Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG).
We look forward to your participation in this process and contribution. If you are coming from out of Delhi and need a place to stay then kindly let us know, we have made arrangements for people to stay.
With sincere regards,
Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Ulka Mahajan, Madhumita Dutta, Nikhil Dey, Vidya Dinker, Usha Seetalakshmi, Gabriel Dietrich, Ramakrishna Raju, Prabin Sabnis, Bharat patel, Sampat Kale, Rajendran, Anand Mazgaonkar, S Parasuraman, Sehjo Singh, Vijayan M J, Preeti Sampat and many others.
(On Behalf of the Audit Process Team)
For more details on SEZ’S go to: http://sez.icrindia.org/