India's National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) criticized the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as helping strong, which obviously benefit the mighty corporates, in its final report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Arjun Sengupta, a noted economist and head of the commission, observed that instead of creating enclaves for the big and the strong on freshly acquired land, a hard look should lbe made towards areas that had spawned clusters of single-products or multi-products and services.
The report further said that Indian enterprises and establishments required a level-playing field only when a large proportion of the units were too small to access raw materials, credit, technology and markets at costs comparable to large units.
It suggested the creation of 'growth poles', comprising micro and small units providing them fiscal incentives identical to SEZs. It added that such support would be much more justifiable than the support being received by the bigger and stronger units in the SEZs.
The Commission further said the actual cost of such support would not be very large, because most of these small and micro units did not pay much tax or duties now and might be liable to pay such taxes only after they reached a certain stage of development.
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