INFRASTRUCTURE


Two More SEZs in Rajasthan & Bengal

The Union government has approved the proposal for setting up of two more special economic zones (SEZs) at Boranada in Rajasthan and Manikanchan in West Bengal.

Boranada SEZ will come up over an earmarked area of 450 bighas in Jodhpur district. The government had earlier cleared a SEZ near Jaipur. Manikanchan SEZ will come up at Salt Lake in Kolkata. The SEZ has an approved area of 303.11 cottah (approximately 5 acres).

The SEZ, as per the government policy announced in April, 2002, is a deemed foreign territory within the country for the purpose of excise levies, customs duties and banking facilities. After announcement of the policy, the government had converted various export processing zones (EPZs) into SEZs. These SEZ are in Maharashtra, Gujarat (Kandla), Kerala (Kochi) and Gujarat (Surat).

As per the industry estimates, about 75 projects envisaging a total investment of more than Rs.20,000 crore are in various stages of implementation. These projects also include about 40 agriculture export zones (AEZs). While the SEZs are being set up with private sector participation, the AEZs are being set up by the state governments in association with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

Centre to set up 2 special economic zones in J&K


The Centre is to establish two special economic zones (SEZs) at Ompura and Kartholi in the Kashmir and Jammu regions, respectively, to give a fillip to exports. These special economic zones will be set up at an investment of Rs.132 crore.

This assurance was given by Union Commerce Minister Shri Arun Jaitely to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed during a meeting

in New Delhi in October, 2003. Shri Sayeed sought an early sanctioning of this project under which infrastructure would be created for export-oriented industrial units. This project envisages concession of central taxes on units to facilitatate exports. “Our efforts should be focused on high potential areas and thrust areas for development. While Jammu can be a potential area for hardware, the Kashmir Valley should be identified for software and precision industry including manufacture of perfumes. In no case, power intensive industry like steel plants, foundries would be encouraged till state achieves self-sufficiency in power Shri Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said. He expected the 450 mw Baglihar hydroelectric project to become a reality by 2006 as the central government had agreed to give a Rs.600 crore grant for the project.

M'rashtra offers sops for shops in SEZs

The Mahrashtra government has offered a slew of concessions to industries planning shops in special economic zones (SEZs). All industries in the SEZs will enjoy a tax holiday for 25 years. They will pay no sales tax, state excise, turnover tax, VAT and entertainment tax for 25 years from the date of beginning operations. They will also not pay stamp duty. The industries will also not be affected by the Urban Land Ceiling Act, Bombay Industry Act, 1946 alongwith the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code. The industries in SEZs have been kept out of the reach of other acts like Urban Land Ceiling Act. The government on October 20, 2003 formulated its SEZ Act 2003 to give statutory support to its SEZ policy announced earlier. Chief Minister, Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde took these decisions at the cabinet’s weekly meeting. Maharashtra was the first state to draw up an independent SEZ policy.

The act plans to bring all the existing laws and agreements relating to various ministries under one roof and give greater functional autonomy to the body running such zones.