As many as 8 SEZ developers have approached the government to surrender their projects, while 13 players have sought more time to execute their plans despite the Centre's recent incentive package to revive investor sentiment for such zones.
These requests will be considered by the 19-member Board of Approval (BoA), Chaired by Commerce Secretary S R Rao, at its meeting on August 30.
Those who have asked for more time to execute their projects include GMR Hyderabad International Airport, DLF Info Parks, Parsvnath Infra and Ansal Colours Engineering.
The BoA has granted formal approval to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd to set up a zone for multi services with international financial services centre at GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL), Shamshabad, Hyderabad.
"The SEZ is yet to be notified. The developer has already been granted three extensions. The validity of the last extension is up to 24th June 2013.
"The developer has requested for further extension of the validity period by one year on the grounds of time lack in seeking GHIAL lenders clearance on the land earmarked for SEZ, lack of demand, etc," the BoA agenda said.
DLF Info Parks has asked for more time for its IT zone in Pune. The validity of its approval was expired on June 26.
Similarly, Parsvnath Infra Ltd has sought one more year for its IT SEZ in Ernakulam. "The developer has requested for further extension of the validity period by 1 year," it said.
Besides Uttam Galva Steel and Suncity Haryana SEZ Developers, others that have applied to denotify their zones include Orient Craft Infrastructure and Vatika Jaipur SEZ.
While Uttam Galva has proposed to set two IT/ITeS zones in Maharashtra, Suncity Haryana has planned its IT SEZ in Haryana. Orient Craft Infrastructure Ltd wants to surrender its two zone - textile and IT - in Haryana.
The reason which the developers have cited to surrender their projects include changed economic scenario, imposition of MAT and DTC, global economic and market uncertainties.
SEZs, which were once looked upon as major vehicles for investment and export promotion, started losing sheen after the global meltdown and imposition of minimum alternate tax.
On April 18, meanwhile, the government announced a package of reforms, including easing of land requirement norms and an exit policy, to rekindle investor interest in SEZs.
An industry expert said the government should withdraw MAT to revive investor's interest in these zones.
"Imposition of MAT is one of the main reason to dwindling interest in SEZs besides overall decline in manufacturing and exports. The falling rupee is also not helping SEZ exporters. The government should look at MAT issue," Director in Raheja Developers Ltd Manoj Goyal said. The firm operates an IT/ITeS SEZ in Gurgaon.
As many as 58 SEZ developers have surrendered projects due to various reasons till 31 July. Exports from SEZs grew by about 31 per cent to Rs 4.76 lakh crore during 2012-13.