Convener of Goa’s Movement against SEZ, Matanhy Saldanha has urged the State government to appoint a special counsel to defend the government’s stand on cancelling the SEZ policy in view of the fact that the SEZ promoters have appealed against the High Court decision upholding the government’s stand.
Mr. Saldanha cautioned that the SEZ promoters would move heaven and earth to get their way particularly given the fact that they had not only circumvented the laws and manipulated officials to get the land allotted to them, but had even the audacity to commence work without getting the mandatory licenses and permissions.
While pointing out that the High Court had rightly noted that the land allotment to the SEZ promoters was done in a hasty and arbitrary manner, he said the government should stick to its guns and not budge under the pressure that will be mounted by the money laden promoters.
Mr. Saldanha in fact advised the government not to even offer compensation to the SEZ promoters as they had vitiated the atmosphere in Goa for their own selfish interest and gains to the detriment of Goa and Goans.
He suggested that the government should initiate an inquiry and take action against the elected representatives and government servants who connived with the SEZ promoters to circumvent the laws of the land so as to strengthen its case before the Supreme Court.
He pooh poohed the Raheja’s claim of having invested around Rs. 190 crores in developing the properties and argued that whatever money invested was speculative investment and deserves to be forfeited as the development was undertaken without taking the mandatory licenses and permissions as stipulated by the laws in force in Goa.
“Defending the appeal will be a real test of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s genuineness in cancelling the SEZ in Goa,” he said.
Mr. Saldanha asserted that besides placing the government’s case properly, all the sins of commission and omission indulged in by the SEZ promoters also have to be exposed and their claim of having invested crores of rupees has to be nailed by placing on record that the development was undertaken without any valid permissions and licenses.