History Hour 36 – “Special Economic Zones (SEZs)–Their Impact on Goa and Goans”, Panel Discussion by Adv Albertina Almeida, Fr Maverick Fernandes, Arch Pravin Sabnis held on Tuesday, 11th December 2007.

Throughout India, the Central Government’s SEZ policy has generated widespread anger, resulting in loud outcries and violent protests by the common masses. Why is it so if India has so much to gain from SEZ? These mass protests should have rung warning bells for local governments with regard to implementing SEZ policies. In spite of Goa possessing so little land, and several massive protests, its government has plunged headlong in implementing SEZ policy. Why? Adv Almeida provided a critical analysis on what is so special about SEZ Act 2005; Fr Fernandes addressed issues relating to consequences of SEZ from the social, political, economic and religion-cultural perspectives; Arch Sabnis made a presentation based on figures and facts about planning of SEZ and corresponding implications.

Albertina Almeida is an Advocate and works on women’s secular and social issues. She is convenor of ‘SEZ Watch’ and member of Goa Bachao Abhiyan. Fr. Maverick Fernandes is Executive secretary, Council for SocialJustice and peace. He is also in charge of the home for he differently-able children, Old Goa. Pravin Sabnis is Architect and HRD trainer under the programme ‘Unlearning Unlimited’. He is a member of ‘SEZ Watch’ and of Goa Bachao Abhiyan.

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