More fuel in SEZ fire, tab proliferation to cool heat

Updated: Feb 29 2008, 05:56am hrs
At a time when the Centre is in talks with the Goa government to scrap all special economic zones in the state following widespread agitations against such tax-free enclaves, the Economic Survey has added fuel to the fire by suggesting the need to check the proliferation of such zones in the country.

Another major policy issue in the trade sector which created a lot of heat was that of the SEZs, the Survey said, adding that some fundamental policy changes were needed for the merchandise trade sector and these include checking the proliferation of SEZs.

It said apprehensions have been expressed on the schemes misuse and relocation of existing industries into SEZs. However, experience has shown that these apprehensions are ill-founded and fresh investments and employment have been flowing into the SEZs, the Survey said.

Also, pursuant to the decision taken by an empowered group of ministers, all states have been informed that the board of approval will not approve any SEZs where state governments have carried out or propose to carry out compulsory acquisition of land for such SEZs after April 5, 2007.

The Survey also said exports from SEZs have been steadily increasing to touch Rs 34,615 crore in 2006-07, registering a growth of 52% from Rs 22,840 crore in the year-ago period. Projected exports for 2007-08 from SEZs is Rs 67,088 crore, it said.