Thursday, January 18, 2007

Special zones become torchbearers of growth



NEW DELHI: The SEZ ferment has begun and, before you know, it could turn
into a revolution. SEZs, in the news for land issues and projected
revenue drains, has managed to attract investment of a whopping Rs
11,900 crore in the last eleven months since the SEZ rules were notified.

As many as 63 SEZs have been notified since February 2006 and a total of
15,812 additional jobs created. According to estimates made by the
ministry of commerce & industry, total investments in SEZs was likely to
go up to Rs 58,000 crore and employment generation increase to 8.9 lakh
by 2009 when most notified SEZs would begin operating and production in
the operational ones would gather steam.

While about 60% of the notified SEZs are in the IT or the IT-enabled
services sectors, a number of multi-product SEZs and sector-specific
SEZs in the area of pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, chemicals &
petrochemicals, textiles, automobiles and components, electronics and
engineering products have also been notified.

Speaking to ET, commerce ministry sources pointed out that the potential
revenue loss being talked about by the finance ministry was notional
while the investments that have come into the zones was real. “Without
the SEZ policy, it would have been impossible to attract such large
investments over such a short period of time. The fact that lakhs of
jobs are to be created in the SEZs, makes the case for SEZs even
stronger,” an official said.

Among states, the four southern states have received the giant’s share
(about 60%) of SEZs, with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka leading the pack.


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