Saturday, July 07, 2007

Essar Hazira SEZ case before Law Ministry

PTI[ FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2007 02:25:45 PM]

NEW DELHI: The Law Ministry, examining the report of the Development
Commissioner, will decide the fate of Essar's SEZ in Hazira where
alleged flouting of rules was detected.

"The report of Development Commissioner was sent to the Revenue
Department, which referred it to the Law Ministry to decide whether the
Essar already had a unit there which was converted in to an SEZ against
the rules," an official said.

Under rules, a developer has to file an affidavit stating that the land
is vacant and no industrial activity exists at the time of application
for an SEZ.

Essar, however, has so far maintained that it had invested only Rs 60
crore for the development of the site before making an application for
Rs 1000 crore steel SEZ. This money was spent on site development and no
industrial activity had started.

Officials said since it was difficult to clearly establish whether the
activity, which Essar said was related only to the development of the
area, could be categorised as an industrial exercise. "It is not a cut
and dry case and requires interpretation of the Act... that is what we
need Law Ministry opinion for," they said.

It was alleged that Essar had converted its existing facility into an
SEZ, which is not allowed under the Act.


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