TWO special economic zones (SEZs) proposed by Infosys in the IT and IT-enabled sectors in Andhra Pradesh were given a formal go-ahead by the government on Wednesday. Other proposals approved by the board of approvals (BoA) for SEZs include IT/ITes SEZs by Genpact India in Rajasthan and Enfield Infrastructure in West Bengal.
The development comes even as the commerce department extended in-principal approval for Mukesh Ambani-promoted Maha Mumbai SEZ by a year. The condition for the extension is that the size of the SEZ has to be limited to 5,000 hectares instead of the 10,000 hectares proposed initially. Also, land acquisition has to be completely voluntary. “There is nothing special about the extension given to Maha Mumbai SEZ. It is in line with the government’s recent decision to extend validity of in-principle approvals by a year for all SEZs that apply for an extension before the expiry of the approval,” an official said.
BoA also gave in-principle approval to two projects, including a multi-product SEZ proposed by Ispat Industries and a biotech SEZ by Veritas Infrastructure Development. Both the projects are in Maharashtra. The Rs 10,000-crore Ispat project will be spread over 3,000 acres, targeting $1 billion export per annum when fully operational and generating employment for 1 lakh.
A total of eight projects were considered by BoA at its meeting. The developers who received formal clearance for their SEZ proposals could start the process of getting their zones notified following which commercial activities could begin. Those with in-principle approval have to come back to BoA after acquiring land to seek formal approval.
According to BoA chairman GK Pillai, formal approvals have been granted for setting up 362 SEZs, of which 136 have been notified. He informed over Rs 45,377 crore have been invested in these notified SEZs and the zones provided direct employment to over 38,405.