Wipro has sought government approval to set up an IT/ITeS special economic zone over a 20-hectare area in Kolkata, according to sources.
The Board of Approval (BoA), an inter-ministerial body chaired by commerce secretary Rita Teaotia, is scheduled to take up Wipro’s application during a meeting on June 22, a source told FE.
The state government’s recommendations are awaited for this purpose. However, the development commissioner of Falta SEZ has already given his recommendation for in-principle approval of Wipro’s proposal.
“A proposal without having the state government’s approval can also be taken up by the BoA. But the state government’s approval for the SEZ is a must at some point of time. In some cases, the land for an SEZ is provided by a state government. Even then, the state’s approval is required,” said another source.
The BoA will also take up applications of Gulf Oil Corporation, Lanco Solar and seven others, seeking more time from the government to implement projects.
As part of its efforts to boost exports, which have dropped for an 18th straight month through May, the commerce ministry recently decided to make a renewed push to revive export hubs like the SEZs.
Even exports from SEZs dropped close to 2% to `3.41 lakh crore during the April-December period of the last fiscal from a year before.
In April, the BoA had given approval to Infosys’ application for an SEZ in Bengaluru. Similarly, in February, it gave approval to four SEZs, including one each of Infosys and Cognizant Technology Solutions.
While Cognizant had proposed to set up an IT/ITeS zone in Telangana, Infosys had proposed to establish an SEZ in Mohali.
Saltire Developers and Amin properties LLP had also received approval by the BoA to set up IT/ITeS zones in Bengaluru.
Also, the BoA had then granted more time to 12 SEZ developers to complete their projects.
The SEZs are designated export hubs that enjoy 100% income tax exemption on exports for the first five years, 50% for the next five years and 50% of the ploughed-back export profit for another five years.
Around 500 proposals for SEZs have been formally approved by the government so far, roughly 40% of which are operational.