The debate on the need to lift the 5,000-hectare ceiling on special economic zones (SEZs) notwithstanding, the zones are continuing to attract huge investments and are creating jobs throughout the country, says the commerce ministry. SEZs have attracted investments worth $13 billion and created one lakh new jobs since the SEZ rules were notified in February last year. The commerce department over a period of 21 months has collected these figures between February 16, 2006 and November 30, 2007.
According to commerce ministry estimates, the number of new jobs and investment figures will treble by the end of next year. Speaking to ET, commerce secretary G K Pillai said investments have been flowing into SEZs as anticipated. ?By the end of next year, total investments in SEZs are likely to touch $40 billion. Creation of new jobs is also expected to increase three times to 3 lakh,? he said.
Subsequent to the approval of the SEZ rules last year, a total of 404 proposals for setting up SEZs have been formally cleared by the government of which 172 zones have been notified. As many as 50 SEZs have started operations. There are 165 proposals, which have received in-principle clearance. As many as 19 multi-product SEZs that have been formally approved are spread over 1,000 hectares. These include Reliance Infrastructure?s project in Jamnagar, and the Adani group?s SEZ projects in Mundra. Of these eight have been notified. More than 50 proposals for setting up multi-product SEZs are in the pipeline with in-principle clearance from the government.
Source: The Economic Times, Amiti Sen, New Delhi<< BackTop
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