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FINANCIAL CRUNCH FORCES MUKESH AMBANI LED RELIANCE TO FIRE EMPLOYEES FROM PROPOSED SEZ IN RAIGAD

sez-5The Raigad farmers who have been battling for their land against one of the biggest corporate houses of the country Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, have now another reason to celebrate tehir victory. The Mukesh Ambani led Reliance has sacked 1,200 of the 1,600 employees from its proposed Special Economic Zones in Raigad district. It, anti-SEZ activists say, signals that Reliance is winding up the project. With the Reliance removing more than 1000 employees from its proposed SEZ at Raigad district, the dream of Mukesh Ambani’s Mahamumbai SEZ at Raigad seems to be diminishing now. This is the second major step the company has taken in the past 15 days. Earlier, they withdrew a petition from the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the deadline for land acquisition. Activist believe that Reliance has sacked the employees because the company can no longer face anymore losses. The government had asked Reliance to acquire 70% of the land required for the SEZ. It was decided that the government would acquire the remaining 30%. The company, however, managed to acquire only 13% of the land within the given deadline. The SEZ Board of Approval extended the deadline twice in past two years. But the company failed to achieve the target because of strong opposition from farmers. Reliance then filed a petition in the Supreme Court in June last year, seeking an extension. But they withdrew the petition on December 7. The Centre, in 2006, had approved Reliance’s SEZ over 10,000 hectare — the biggest in the country — in 45 villages in Pen, Uran, and Panvel tehsils of Raigad district. Since then local farmers have been opposing the project. The land, according to them, is fertile and produces half of the rice produced in the state.

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