Twenty-two SEZ projects cancelled for no progress; 27 get more time
The government has cancelled 22 projects for the setting up of special economic zones (SEZs) related to IT and engineering sectors. The projects, including 11 SEZs proposed in the national capital region (NCR), that were cancelled because their developers failed to make “satisfactory” progress. The decision to cancel these SEZs was taken after Commerce Secretary Rajiv Kher held a review meeting with the Board of Approval (BoA) on May 19. “The Board noted that the progress made by the developer is not satisfactory. The Board, after deliberations, decided to cancel the formal approval/notification, as the case may be, in these 22 cases,” said a statement released by Commerce Ministry. The board has also asked the developers to give an undertaking that they have not received any tax or duty benefits as per the SEZ scheme or refunded the same. Of the total cancelled projects, 19 were related to Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled sectors and others were meant for multi-product, engineering, hardware and software industries. While seven of them were proposed in Gurgaon, five SEZs were approved in Noida and Greater Noida areas of NCR. The rest were proposed in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The government had given formal approval to these projects under SEZ development scheme between 2006 and 2010. Meanwhile, developers of 27 other SEZs have been given extension up to one year to expedite the execution of the projects. Gulf Oil Corporation, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd, Kandla Port Trust, Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board, and Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd were among those granted additional time to implement their projects approved five years ago. Under the SEZ scheme, the central government provides funds and tax benefits to entrepreneurs to invest in manufacturing and encourage exports. According to estimates, exports from various SEZs operating across the country reached to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore during 2013-14.
June 17, 2015 | 9:39 pm IST.