More SEZs in Rajasthan & Bengal
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
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 cabinets 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.