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Empowered GoM retains 10 hectares for IT SEZ

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 6 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today scored a major victory in the ongoing tussle with the Finance Ministry as the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) retained the limit of 10 hectares and minimum built-up area of one lakh square metres for the SEZs in information technology.

For gems and jewellery, the minimum land area requirement will be 10 hectares and 50,000 sq metres of built-up area; and for bio-tech and non-conventional energy, the minimum land area requirement will be 10 hectares and 40,000 square metres of built-up area.

For all other multi-product, multi-services and sector-specific zones, the land area requirement will be the same, as notified in the SEZ Rules i.e., multi-product - 1000 hectares; multi-services - 100 hectares and sector-specific - 100 hectares.

The Finance Ministry wanted a minimum land area of 25 hectares for the IT SEZ which was opposed by the Commerce Ministry. EGOM has also stipulated that the processing area in SEZs will be 35 per cent.

The meeting of EGOM, headed by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee was was attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister for IT and Communication Dayanidhi Maran, Law Minister H R Bharadwaj, and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

''With the resolution of the issues relating to implementation of SEZs, there would be a significant flow of investment into the Zones,'' Mr Kamal Nath said.

Investment of the order of Rs 100,000 crore over three years in infrastructure development of SEZs and in setting up of units therein has been estimated on the basis of projections made by the promoters at the time of seeking approval for establishment of SEZs by them.

At present, 15 functioning SEZs (average size 200 acres) have attracted private investment of about Rs 2200 crore in establishment of units and provide employment to about 1.10 lakh persons.

Approval has so far been given for setting up of 164 new Special Economic Zones in the private sector and by the state governments. Of the 164 SEZs approved for establishment, eight SEZs at Mahindra City (IT and textiles) near Chennai (Tamil Nadu); Indore (Madhya Pradesh); Jaipur and Jodhpur (Rajasthan); Manikanchan and Salt Lake Electronic City (West Bengal); and Nokia Sriperumbudur (Tamil Nadu) have become operational in 2004,2005 and 2006. Further, five SEZs at Mahindra City for auto ancillary, Moradabad (UP), Village Vanj, District Surat (Gujarat), Hassan (Karnataka) and Chandigarh are now getting ready for operation.

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