Ludhiana firm gets approval for Rs 213-crore SEZ
LUDHIANA-BASED Malhotra Land And Colonizers Private Ltd on Monday got the Centre’s approval to set up an auto-engineering special economic zone, taking the number of SEZs in Punjab to 12. The company plans to invest close to Rs 213 crore on 300 acres in Ludhiana for the project. It is expected to generate employment for 12,000 people. “We have got approval from the Union government. It will take us almost a year to develop the project. The SEZ will house both medium and large scale industries,” said Malhotra Land And Colonizers MD Ashok Malhotra. Around eight more projects for Punjab are awaiting approval, which can translate into an investment of Rs 4,000 crore in the coming months. The SEZs in the state will be located at Ludhiana, Rajpura, Amritsar, Mohali and Jawaharpur. The state government has already notified SEZ projects of Ranbaxy and Quarkcity in Mohali. Realty major DLF may set up an SEZ in Ludhiana, apart from its four SEZ projects in Amritsar. The company has got formal approval from the Centre. Other companies that have got formal approval to set up SEZs in Punjab include Rockman projects Limited, Shipra Estates, Vividha and Mridula groups. More projects are likely to come up in the state. Lark Projects from Mohali has asked for 10 acres and Sukhmani Towers from Jawaharpur asks for 28 hectares while Rema Textiles also has similar plans. Few months ago, Videocon Industries Limited had shown interest in setting up an SEZ in Punjab. The company is still in negotiations with the Punjab government and has asked for 2,500 acres. The SEZ will house electronics, hardware- and agrobased industries. The project cost will be Rs 500 crore. “The investment can go up to Rs 500 crore. I feel Punjab is an ideal locations as politicians are keen to have industrial projects here,” said a spokesperson from Videocon Industries Limited. If all 234 formal projects approved by the Centre so far become operational, it will translate into an investment of Rs 3,00,000 crore and generate 4 million additional jobs. Compared with the exports of Rs 22, 840 crore in 2005-06, exports from SEZs grew to Rs 34,787 crore, a growth rate of 52% in just a year.