Maharashtra to get Rs 1.35 lakh cr investment through SEZs

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Mumbai, Aug 22 (UNI) Approval of 131 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Maharashtra will pave the way for Rs 1,35,000 crore investment in the state, besides creating employment opportunities for 60 lakh workers.

Out of the total SEZs approval by Ministry of Commerce in both private and public sector, 27 SEZs have been formally notified, while five of them have become operational.

''This represents 13 per cent of the total SEZs approved in India,'' an official release said here today.

Maharashtra has been at the forefront in attracting investments.

SEZs will now make the state competitive not only with the other states in the country but several countries as well, the release said.

The concept of SEZs was introduced in India with multiple objectives. Foremost among them was to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to earn foreign exchange.

Such zones are also expected to generate employment and catalyze transfer of technology.

Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has actively kick-started the development of SEZs in the state, either on a stand-alone basis or in joint partnership with private partners. Of the notified and formally approved SEZs, 21 are being implemented entirely by MIDC.

While the private SEZs are concentrated in Greater Mumbai, Thane Raigad and Pune region, the SEZs of MIDC are spread across the state and will ensure balanced growth amongst the regions in the state.

Further, while 64 per cent of the private SEZs that have been notified or formally approved are in the IT/ITES sector, this figure is 15 per cent in the case of SEZs promoted by MIDC, thus ensuring that non-IT sectors have an opportunity to avail of excellent infrastructure for their operations.

MIDC-promoted SEZs alone are expected to generate more than 5.5 lakh employment at an investment of Rs 10,000 crore. The land for these SEZs has already been acquired by MIDC.

MIDC has been a pioneer in setting out a comprehensive policy on rehabilitation of persons displaced by acquisition of land under which acquisition is done only through negotiations and compensation provided at market rate. Fifteen percent of the developed land is allotted to land-owners and training imparted to the project- affected people to improve their skill-sets so as improve their employability. This policy has served as a model for other agencies.

SEEPZ was the first and only SEZ to be established in Maharashtra in the early 1970s. It has since been a trailblazer in exports.

Dedicated to electronics and gems and jewellery, SEEPZ has seen exports doubled from Rs 5,190 crore in 2000-01 to over Rs 11,250 crore in 2007-08. SEEPZ SEZ alone has generated more than 80,000 direct and indirect employment.

UNI JM SSS MP ND2014

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