Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mukesh SEZs approved

Mukesh SEZs approved

Posted online: Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 0021 hours IST

NEW DELHI, JUN 22: The Centre on Friday formally approved three special
economic zones (SEZs) promoted by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries
Ltd (RIL) and one by his brother, Anil Ambani. These were among the 36
SEZs that were formally approved by the government and another nine that
obtained in-principle clearance.
The Board of Approval (BoA) gave its formal nod to the Mukesh
Ambani-promoted Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd's proposals for projects related
to biotechnology (63.74 hectare), light engineering (179 hectare) and
pharmaceuticals (103.25 hectare) inMaharashtra. Another RIL proposal for
a 1,250-hectare multi-product SEZ would be considered at the next BoA
meeting on July 12, as it was earlier deferred following the revenue
department's objections on contiguity, lack of alternate access roads
for local villages and their disconnect with water bodies.

BoA chairman and commerce secretary GK Pillai said the promoters and the
Maharashtra government had already given their comments on the stalled
SEZ. The Maharashtra government has approved the project. Though RIL
initially planned a single SEZ in Navi Mumbai, sources said it later
decided to split the zone into four projects in order to bypass the
contiguity issue and avoid procedural roadblocks.

The BoA also gave its formal approval to the 18.26-hectare IT/ITeS SEZ
belonging to Anil Ambani's Reliance Infocom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd at
the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City in Maharashtra.

The BoA gave its nod to the Foxconn-promoted 11-hectare electronic
hardware SEZ at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. The company supplies
hardware to Motorola and Nokia. Foxconn, which already has an SEZ, plans
to invest $400 million in the new project.

Green Signal
• RIL proposal for 1,250-hectare SEZ to be considered at July 12 BoA meet
• Anil Ambani's 18.26-hectare IT/ITeS SEZ in Maharashtra also approved
• Barring Bihar and the northeast, SEZs have been approved in all states
• SEZs with complaints of compulsory land acquisition would not be notified

The Centre also said state governments would undertake the acquisition
of land for SEZs only when all the affected landowners gave their
consent. Pillai told state government representatives that SEZs with
complaints of compulsory land acquisition would not be notified.

It was also clarified that to the extent possible, double-crop and
multiple-crop land should not be acquired.

"Now, barring Bihar and the northeast, SEZs have been approved in all
states. Bihar and the northeast have been left out as no application has
been received from those states," Pillai said.

Seven proposals were deferred, including two for multi-product SEZs by
Skil Infrastructure. The company did not meet the net worth requirement.


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