Centre may ease norms soon: Maran

Chennai, Mar 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2007, 05:30am hrs
The government may ease special economic zone norms in the next few days. This is to enable states that have no land-related problems but are unable to make any headway owing to clearances withheld by the government for problems elsewhere. Based on petitions moved by the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments, an empowered group of ministers headed by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee has decided to take up the issue early next week, hoping to relax SEZ norms. This is according to minister for information, communication and technology Dayanidhi Maran here on Friday.

Talking to reporters after flagging off a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics and Chennai-based Reliable Freight Forwarders, Maran said the the group of ministers will be meeting again next week to discuss issues, including that of the petitions.

Maran, also on the ministers panel, said SEZs approved in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had been put on hold due to a controversy over land-acquisition in other states. The Centre will now give the go-ahead for these projects. We hope that the eGoM will relax the norms to enable Tamil Nadu to go ahead with their proposals as most of the SEZs in the state were being set up on Small Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu land.

According to him, unlike other states where local governments are involved in acquiring thousands of acres of land to develop SEZs, the Tamil Nadu government is developing SEZs over less than 500 acres.