NEW DELHI: The government has given more time to 13 special economic zone developers, including Vedanta Aluminium and Posco India, to execute their projects. At a meeting on March 13, the Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar also allowed four SEZ developers to surrender their projects.
The BoA is a 19-member inter-ministerial body that deals with special economic zones (SEZs) and related issues. However, the developers surrendering their projects have to obtain a certificate from the respective Development Commissioners that “they have refunded all the tax/duty benefits availed under SEZ Act/Rules,” a senior Commerce Ministry official said.
Both Vedanta Aluminium and Posco India have sought more time from the Centre as they were unable to proceed with their projects due to different reasons. To Vedanta Aluminium, the Board has given time till May 22, 2013. “The Board, after deliberations, extended the validity of the in-principle approval (of Posco India) up to October 25, 2012,” the official said.
While South Korean steel major Posco’s project is getting delayed because of land issue, Vedanta Aluminium has some issues with their captive power plant. Posco’s subsidiary Posco India Pvt Ltd had received in-principle approval from the BoA for setting up the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Jagatsinghpur. The in-principle clearance was valid till October 2011. The SEZ would come up at an area of 1,620 hectares, but the state government has leased only 245 hectares.
Vedanta Aluminium’s SEZ was notified in 2007 for setting up of a zone for manufacture and export of aluminum in Orissa. The developer was granted extension till May 2010.
The other SEZ developers which gets more time for implementation of their tax free enclaves include Navi Mumbai SEZ ltd, Cochin Port Trust and Ansal IT City and Parks Ltd.
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation wanted to surrender its pharmaceutical SEZ at Ratnagiri district. The developer had requested for de-notification of the SEZ stating that the land on which the SEZ was proposed falls a part of 3,000 acre proposed to be allotted to HPCL for setting up of refinery project.
In the wake of uncertainties over tax incentives, scores of SEZ developers were given more time to execute their project and some of them have surrendered.
Besides, five developers including that of Infosys Ltd and SEZ Bio-Tech Services got approval for setting up of new zones.
Exports from SEZs grew by 23 per cent to Rs 72,255 crore during the first quarter of 2011-12.
[Source – Economic Times]