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Lok Sabha passes SEZ Amendment Bill

The Opposition members, however, opposed the bill. It was initially promulgated as an ordinance in March prior to the announcement of General Elections. NK Premachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party also moved a statutory resolution to disapprove the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019. Both were taken together for the consideration of the House.

Participating in the debate, MP Premachandran said the House may be informed of the exigency for the government to pass this ordinance just before the Model Code of Conduct came into vogue.

He also opposed the amendment to the act as he expressed his apprehension alleging that it has been brought to benefit the beneficiaries according to the whims and fancies of the government. He stressed that legislation is required only when society demands.

Favouring the amendment, BJP member Rajiv Pratap Rudy explained the need for Special Economic Zones and to make them function effectively, such amendments are needed. He also allayed fears of the Opposition that the government will not compromise on the interest of the people and the nation.

Opposing the amendment, Congress member Shashi Tharoor said that ordinance is not the way of democracy and the hidden agenda to the amendment needs clarification from the minister. Around 15 members participated in the debate.

The bill was passed after the Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal assured the House that intention of the government was to bring more and more investment into the country.

He also informed the House that so far, six trusts have applied for establishing their business in the Special Economic Zone after the promulgation of the ordinance in the March 2019, and one has been accorded the permission so far. 

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