The government has put the clearance of special economic zones on hold till a comprehensive resettlement and rehabilitation plan governing land acquisition for big projects is put in place. This is perhaps in view of the disquiet among farmers from West Bengal to Haryana on land acquisition which is being fanned further by the political parties.
The finance ministry is likely to table the Sebi amendment bill in the budget session. The bill has a provision for setting up an investors' protection fund (IPF). In his budget speech last year, finance minister P. Chidambaram had promised this fund. According to a senior finance ministry official, Sebi chairman M. Damodaran met Chidambaram yesterday to give a final shape to the proposals of the bill.
States that have not amended the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) Act but want to avail of funds from the Rs 15,000-crore national horticulture mission to develop food processing industry in their respective states have been advised by the Centre to amend the Act.