AP Plans Rs 400-cr SEZ For Gems & Jewellery

Hyderabad, Nov 9: | Updated: Nov 10 2003, 05:30am hrs
Following its thrust to set up the countrys first Gems Park in Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh government is keen on setting up an exclusive special economic zone (SEZ) for gems and jewellery in Hyderabad with an estimated investment of about Rs 400 crore. The proposed zone is expected to come up near the proposed international airport in Shamshabad on an area of about 300 acres. The facility is expected to generate employment for over one lakh people, according to Mr Srikanth Badiga, project coordinator of AP Gems Park. The zone is likely to be operational from October 2004.

We have already submitted a proposal to the commerce ministry a fortnight back for setting an exclusive zone for gems and jewellery based on the public-private-partnership (PPP) model supported by the approval from the investment-friendly state government. With natural resources existing in the state, there is still untapped potential for natural gems, pearls and traditional jewellery, which are yet to be exploited and exported from the state, he said.

The gems park and the special zone will help in setting up of more number of joint ventures with foreign collaborations. The AP Gems Park, to become operational by June 2004 with an investment of Rs 60 crore, is being initiated by the Andhra Pradesh government through a joint venture of Andhra Pradesh State Trading Corporation Ltd (APSTC) and IOI Corporation Berhad of Malaysia.

Both the park and SEZ have identified potential international partners which include De Beers, D-Damas and domestic clients, including leading diamond traders like Mumbai-based Gitanjali Exports Corporation, Tribhovandhas Zaveri, Meena Jewellers, Krishna Jewellers, Kirtilal Jewellers and Jagadamba Pearls, etc, the export zone is expected to attract more traders from Mumbai, Jaipur, Surat and Ahmedabad.

Further, about seven Mumbai-based leading diamond exporters and traders have expressed interest for setting up units both in the park and SEZ, he said.