TCS among 13 SEZs cleared by government

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New Delhi, Oct 19 (UNI) The Government today approved 13 proposals for setting up special economic zones (SEZs), including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), but deferred a decision on plans by DLF and Unitech Hitech for setting up tax-free industrial zones at Noida.

Formal clearance for 10 proposals and in-principle nod to three applicants was given by the Board of Approval of the Commerce Ministry chaired by Commerce Secretary G K Pillai.

He said government has approved plans of TCS to set up an IT zone in West Bengal.

Mr Pillai said the decision on DLF and Unitech Hitech was deferred, since the promoters did not have land in possession.

This is the first decision on SEZs after the Cabinet cleared the Resettlement and Rehabilitation policy on October 11, making the process of land acquisition transparent and easy for the promoters.

Of the 10 SEZs given formal approval, as many as seven are planned for setting up information technology and IT-enabled services (IT/ITeS) units.

With the clearance, the government has granted formal approval for setting up 395 SEZs. Of this, 156 SEZs have been notified and investment of Rs 50,906 crore made in them providing direct employment to over 72,168 persons, an official statement said.

Nearly 70 per cent of SEZs have been bagged by IT/ITeS.

Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh had expressed concern over this skewed ratio of SEZs in the country. During his address to the NASSCOM, the national body on IT industry, here on September 19, the Minister had said, ''SEZs appear to be increasing the digital divide.'' ''I have always felt that the true value of SEZs must be judged by the extent to which they help promote labour-intensive Manufacturing,'' Mr Ramesh had said.

UNI

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