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Medha calls for fight against SEZ policy

Special Correspondent

"The zones will hamper further the interests of the poor"

— Photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty

EMPATHISING WITH PEOPLE: Social activist Medha Patkar listening to grievances of the people who are likely to be displaced by the Posco mega steel plant, in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

BHUBANESWAR: Social activist Medha Patkar on Saturday criticised the Centre's special economic zone (SEZ) policy and called for a concerted fight against the pro-corporate and anti-people industrialisation taking place across the country.

Addressing the inaugural session of a two-day national convention on `Globalisation and Fast Industrialisation versus Alternative Development Model' here, Ms. Patkar said the current process of industrialisation amounted to massacre of a minority by a majority that thrived with the lathi and bullets.

Maintaining that the SEZs would further hamper the interests of the poor, Ms. Patkar said that the policy was designed to help corporate houses become richer at the expense of the poor. She charged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia were supporting the SEZ policy that was aimed at creating `special exploiting zones' by corporate houses from both India and outside.

The convention will discuss issues of the industrialisation process in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and the question of displacement and a threat to the environment and livelihood in the region.

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