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Sat26Jul2014

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A dubious GIFT

By Manshi Asher and Sayantoni Datta

Gujarat International Finance Tech City (GIFT), to come up in Gandhinagar, is being promoted as India's largest multi-services financial hub. To be built mostly on common grazing lands grabbed from surrounding villages and by panicking farmers into selling their agricultural land, it is yet another instance of how commercial interests are favoured at the expense of the poor

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How Mundra became India's Rotterdam

By Manshi Asher

An account of how the Mundra multi-product SEZ has steamrolled ahead over the last few years, clearing forests and environmental hurdles along the way

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Inside the SEZ cauldron

By Anosh Malekar

Our correspondent reports on the “historic” referendum in 22 villages of Raigad district, Maharashtra, where on September 21 over 6,000 landholders voted against the acquisition of their lands for an SEZ. The farmers insist they want to continue farming. But will they hold out when the compensation package is upped? And will the promised waters from the Hetavane dam flow into their fields before they sell out?

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Goa: How the battle was won

By Rifat Mumtaz and Madhumanti Sardar

Recently, Goa became the only state in India to openly declare that no more Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be set up on its territory. This was a result of relentless pressure from almost the entire state -- villagers, educated middle class, professionals, activists, the church and media

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Farmer suicides rampant in MP, Chhattisgarh too

By Sushmita Malaviya and Jinendra Singh

A study by the Madras Institute of Development Studies puts the number of farmer suicides in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at well over 2,000 a year. But both state governments are choosing to ignore the facts. In this report, farmers tell their own story

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The SEZ versus the 'unrewarding' small farm

By Aseem Shrivastava

Kakinada farmer Narasimha Murthy's 5-acre farm supports 50 people, each living on around Rs 800 a month, more than twice the official rural poverty line.Why would farmers like him in 16 villages in Andhra Pradesh want to give up this livelihood for the Kakinada SEZ? What does the SEZ offer them anyway?

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Stalemate at Singur

By Aparna Pallavi

A year after 1,000 acres of land were acquired by the West Bengal government, Singur is quiet but simmering. "We are land people, we live on land and with land," say locals in this update. Only 300 of the 1200 landowners have accepted compensation

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The growing revolt against disposability

By Aseem Shrivastava

With governments backing out of land acquisition for SEZs, the land mafia is taking over. But resistance is growing too. In Jhajjar district of Haryana, where a 25,000-acre SEZ is planned, a Kisan Jagrukta Samiti is protesting actively

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'India is the last giant market left in the world; protect it'

By Rashme Sehgal

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is poised to enter the Indian market. Campaigner Wade Rathke warns against the predatory practices of Wal-Mart, whose business model, he says, is notorious for driving out competition and slashing labour costs

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Protecting vanilla farmers against global cartels

By N P Chekutty

Set up to protect the interests of vanilla-growers in India, Vanilco is a model for farmers who face volatile market conditions and monopolies within the market

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