Centre sanctions 73 SEZs in AP, largest in India:

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Hyderabad, Apr 2 (UNI) Hitting out at the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for adopting double standards on Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister J Geetha Reddy today said the state got the largest number of 73 SEZs sanctioned by the Centre.

Denying TDP's allegations that the Congress Government had neglected development of industries, Ms Reddy, while replying to the debate on the no-confidence motion, said the TDP had advocated SEZs while in power but was now opposing the same.

As many as 54 SEZs with potential to create 25 lakh jobs in the state had started operations, she said.

Allaying the fears of the opposition members, she said the government had only leased the land for SEZs and would take them back if the terms of the agreement were violated.

Former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had, in fact, written to the Centre in support of SEZs and visited various countries, including USA and UAE, but could not attract any major investments, she contended.

The TDP, while in power, had tried to leapfrog by giving over-emphasis to the services sector, including IT, neglecting the fact that growth should flow from agriculture sector to the manufacturing sector and then to the services sector, she felt.

In the name of privatisation, the previous TDP government sold away cooperative sugar mills.

On the other hand, the TDP had totally failed to attract major industrial investments from private players.

Highlighting the concessions extended to SC/ST entrepreneurs, she said the government would stand guarantee to entrepreneurs for securing loans from financial institutions.

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