The seven promoters of special economic zones (SEZs) in Goa, who were allotted land by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), have sought damages in excess of Rs1,500 crore from the state government which wants back the land issued to the promoters, GIDC managing director Ajit Naik said at a press conference in Panaji on Monday.
The Rs1,500 compensation sought is 30 times the amount (Rs60 crore) paid by the seven promoters to GIDC collectively for acquiring 32,00,000 sq m of land, where the seven SEZ were proposed to be set up. ''All the seven promoters have approached the court demanding Rs500 crore each in compensation, damages and losses because they were not able to set up the SEZs,'' Naik said.
The GIDC, which was the nodal agency for allotment of land to the SEZ promoters in 2007, had to later seek the land back from them after public outrage against the SEZ land acquisition policy forced the state government to scrap all the seven SEZ projects, three of which were already notified.
The seven SEZ promoters - Meditabh Specialities Pvt Ltd, the Cipla Group, Peninsular Pharma Research Ltd, Paradigm Logistic and Distributors, Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercentile Pvt Ltd and Maxgrow, have now approached the Panaji bench of the Bombay high court challenging the GIDC decision and seeking compensation.
''The compensation and damages they have asked for are completely unreasonable. Just because they have asked for such money does not mean we will give it to them,'' Naik said.
He was addressing a press conference to announce the GIDC's approval to set up one new unit and to expand four major units, including that of Bosch India Ltd, at various industrial estates in Goa, when he was quizzed over whether GIDC would pay compensation to SEZ promoters. He added that over 250 fresh applications for plots are pending before the GIDC, even as land is locked in the SEZs.
Chief minister Digambar Kamat said last week that he had asked union commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma to denotify three SEZ in the state.