No review of hiking land cap for SEZs: Nath

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) Commerce Minister Kamal Nath today said there was no proposal to review the land allocated to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and change the 5,000 hectare cap prescribed by a Group of Ministers to 10,000 hectares.

The statement comes close on the heels of Commerce Secretary Gopal Krishnan Pillai stating that the government was considering hiking the cap on land allocated to SEZ.

''The government is not considering any proposal to relax the 5,000 hectare cap on land size for SEZs'' Mr Nath told reporters on the sidelines of the TIE Entrepreneurial Summit here.

Mr Pillai had earlier said at the World Economic Forum last week that a decision has not yet been taken as to whether the new cap will be done on a case to case basis or it will be across the board as a change in poilcy.

The Empowered Group of Minister, headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had recommended a cap of 5,000 hectares on the size of SEZs. It had asked the government not to intervene in any manner in land acquisition proceedings.

Mr Nath, however, suggested a leeway as he said the Centre will look at specific proposals from states; once the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (RR) Policy is implemented.

''There cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy for all the states. The issues of Kerala is different from that of Tamil Nadu,'' he said.

Mr Nath also said the review of foreign direct investment (FDI) was likely to come up before the Cabinet next week.

There is speculation that the government plans to hike FDI cap in oil refining, commodity exchanges, and aviation services such as chartering planes and helicopters and ground handling facilities.

While the government is keen to raise the cap on the insurance sector, staunch opposition, especially from the Left parties, have prevented it from doing so. There is also very strong opposition to pension reforms.

UNI

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