Seeking more time for developing projects and surrendering them reflects lack of enthusiasm in the tax-free enclaves
New Delhi, July 15 (PTI) The government has given more time to 33 special economic zone developers, including Uttam Galva Steels Ltd, Unitech Infracon and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, to execute their projects. At a meeting on July 6, the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary S R Rao, also allowed three SEZ developers to surrender their projects. The BoA is a 19-member inter-ministerial body that deals with Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the issues related to them.
OPG Power Gujarat Private Limited, a subsidiary of London-based power player, OPG Power Ventures PLC has received the in-principle approval to set up a sector-specific special economic zone (SEZ) for power at Bhadreshwar, Mundra in Kutch district in Gujarat. The SEZ board of approval (BoA) has granted the in-principle approval to the company at its meeting held earlier this month.
The state government has finally gave an approval to what can be termed as the highest-ever compensation for project affected persons (PAPs) in the state. The Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has got the green signal to go ahead with disbursal of Rs1.5 crore per hectare to ousters in Jaitala and Bhamti villages. The figure comes to around Rs60 lakh an acre, equivalent to what MADC itself charges investors buying land in Mihan-SEZ.
Justice MB Shah commission that looks into 14 graft cases has got another participant earlier this week. A litigant in the Gujarat high court against the alleged violation of norms in the Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) – Naran Gadhvi has filed an affidavit before the Shah commission. Gadhvi claimed that he could throw light on one of the land allotment issues that are being probed by the inquiry commission. He has even provided some documents related to land allotment to APSEZ in Mundra block in southern part of Kutch.
A ban has been proposed on the setting up of special economic zones (SEZ) on land in tribal areas and agricultural land. A meeting today between rural development minister Jairam Ramesh and unofficial members of the National Council of Land Reforms (NCLR) also suggested that homeless rural people should be given homestead land.
“The company has received a show cause notice recently for new SEZ of 1840 hectares and is in the process of replying the same,” an Adani spokesperson said in a statement. The ministry had issued a show cause notice to APSEZ last week as to why a formal approval granted to it for its new 1840-hectare SEZ should not be withdrawn immediately. The department of commerce, in its notice had alleged that several material facts were not brought to the notice of the department by the company in its proposal for setting up a multi product SEZ at Mundra in Kutch, Gujarat.
The ministry’s notice said, “From the observations, it is prima facie apparent that APSEZ has deliberately concealed and falsified material facts, which have a direct bearing on the grant of approval and subsequent notification, as also misled the department by furnishing incorrect particulars of land and other related facts leading to wrongful approval and notification of the land measuring 1840 hectares as an SEZ.” The proposed SEZ was in addition to APSEZ’s existing SEZ at Mundra.
Mangalore Special Economic Zone Limited (MSEZL), a notified sector-specific petrochemical SEZ in Karnataka, is setting up a 10-km direct pipeline-cum-road corridor connecting MSEZL units to the New Mangalore Port, said a press release issued on Monday by Rajiv Banga, MD and CEO, MSEZL.
The ministry of commerce and industry would soon announce relaxed land-related norms for special economic zones to arrest the slackening pace of growth in these tax-free zones by making certain changes in the SEZ policy. In a major amendment to the policy, enacted in 2006, for the first time the government will change the minimum land requirement across all sectors. It will reduce the threshold limit for each sector-specific SEZ, in the wake of severe constraints faced by the developers in acquiring huge tracts of contiguous land. At present, the minimum land required for multi-product, multi-service, information technology and gem & jewellery SEZs is 1,000 hectares (ha), 100 ha and 10 ha each, respectively.
A series of negative news about Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (ADSEZ), as well as last month’s Gujarat High Court’s directive to stop construction work at its SEZ, impacted the company’s share prices. The stock, around Rs 130 at the start of this financial year, slipped to Rs 111 in mid-May—it fell from Rs 121 to Rs 114.45 in a trading session after the March quarter results were announced (on May 14). The results were below expectations and reflected the lower volume growth, mainly in coal due to the lower off-take by the utilities.
The government will come out with new guidelines to revive export hubs, special economic zones (SEZs), which have lost sheen after imposition of certain levies and proposal to take away tax incentives. The government had imposed Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) on SEZs in 2010-11, which were earlier exempted from almost all levies. Admitting that due to imposition of MAT and DDT, there has been a “visible slowdown” in growth of export from SEZs, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday said a new set of guidelines would be announced to make the SEZ policy more buoyant.