SEZs to generate addtional 8 lakh employment by 2009-end: Nath

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) With exports from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) expected to cross Rs 1,25,000 crore this year, the government today said SEZs will provide an additional direct employment to over eight lakh people by next year end.

''SEZs will provide an incremental direct employment to over eight lakh people by December 2009...the investments in these zones will be to the extent of Rs 2,00,000 crore by the end of next year,'' Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said here.

In an interaction with the SEZ developers, which was organised by the Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs, Commerce Secretary G K Pillai and senior officials from the Ministry were also present.

The Minister said this sector is playing a very important role in employment generation, exports, attracting investments and creation of infrastructure.

He said EOU/SEZ Schemes are vital instruments of the country's exports and are complimentary to each other. EOUs, SEZ Units and SEZ Developers represent the most vibrant section of India's exporting community.

''Exports from EOUs this year was to the extent of Rs 1,42,211 crore showing a growth of approximately 128 per cent over last year's exports and EOUs are providing direct employment to around 11.50 lakh people,'' the Minister said.

Mr Nath said, ''The government so far, has given formal approval to 513 SEZs, which means that SEZ Developers are in possession of the land in these SEZs. 250 SEZs have been notified, which means they are on the verge of take off. 87 SEZs have already become operational.'' UNI BKS SBA KN1959

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