Marine Economic Zone more profitable than Sethu Project- Shri Kalyanaraman

via Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle published on December 14, 2007

Chennai: A Marine Economic Zone (MEZ) along the Palk Straits and Gulf of mannar will bring in unprecedented economic prosperity for more thaqn 2 million traditional fishermen in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, according to Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, former executive, Asian Development bank. A study done by him for more than three years has found that the MEZ would bring more economic and social development than the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project.

India’s foreign exchange earnings through the export of marine products in 2006-07 was Rs. 8,363.53 crores, “More than 25 percent of this earning, or over 2,000 crores was made by exports from Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Thuthookudi and Kanyakumari districts,” said Dr. Kalyanaraman in his concept note.

Dr. Kalyanaraman, a specialist in development economics, said MEZ was distinct and different from the proposed Special Economic Zones (SEZ). “While the SEZs lead to displacement of people from fertile agricultural lands for setting up industrial megapolis, MEZs are conceived as cooperatives of small fishermen and small-scale marine product processing units on the long coastline of the country,” he pointed out. Dr. Kalyanaraman said MEZ was meant for using marine resources while SEZ replaced cultivable land to promote industry. “It does not involve displacement of any existing industry.”

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