Kerala govt. adopts 13-point policy for approving SEZs

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 29 (UNI) The Kerala government today announced a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy for approving new SEZs in the state.

Briefing reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting here today, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said the cabinet had given its approval for the 13-point policy. The new applications would be forwarded to the Centre for consideration soon.

He said the new policy would be applicable to all SEZs, including those already approved by the Centre and those which would be getting approval soon.

The government was forced to formulate a new policy in this regard, as the Centre was continuing a policy, providing various exemptions and concessions in Corporate Tax, Central Excise Tax and Customs Duty to the investors in the SEZ, he said.

According to the new policy, no paddy fields would be allowed for SEZ projects, no electricity duty exception would be given to SEZ investors, the government would not recommend the applications of those people involved in surplus land cases and not to implement the Centre's condition that the SEZ would be exempted from section V-B in the Industrial Dispute Act, he said.

As the population in the state was much higher than other states, it was not practically possible to allot new SEZs the required large areas of land and they would be approved only by considering the special siutation of the state, the policy said.

It also said that the condition of the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act would be applicable to all SEZs in the state. They would not be exempted from the workers rights like the trade and trade union acts , welfare fund, provident fund, factories and gratuity act, he added.

It would also exempt the institutions functioning in the SEZ from the taxes collecting according to the KGST Act, including vat for ten years.

The Panchayat Raj Act would be applicable to all the SEZs in the state and no exception would be given in the 200 section in the Act.

The policy also stipulated that 70 per cent of the land should be utilised for industrial purpose and the remaining 30 per cent for other purposes, including accommodation facilities to employees working in the SEZs, as against the Central policy that only 50 per cent would be utilised for industrial purpose.

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